Remotely piloted aircraft are more responsive in flight thanks to a new ground data terminal installed at Air Combat Command’s RPA schoolhouse at Holloman AFB, N.M. The GDT “sends a signal to and from the ground control station and is what allows the pilots to control the RPAs,” said SrA. Mark Murray, 849th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communications technician. Replacing Holloman’s copper-wired unit with a new fiber-optic terminal effectively cuts lag time between controls input and aircraft response by as much as four seconds, said SMSgt. David Wade, 849th AMXS communications boss. “Before, the RPA flying capability was somewhat limited,” he noted. To meet combat demand, “we are expanding our infrastructure to facilitate growth in the output of aircrews for RPA platforms” by 30 percent to 40 percent, explained Wade. In addition to the GDT installed on Feb. 7, Holloman added two ground control stations and is upgrading satellite links. (Holloman report by A1C Siuta Ika) (See also RPA Ramp Up from Air Force Magazine’s 2011 archive.)
An Active-Duty Airman set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy this afternoon, the Air Force confirmed to Air & Space Forces Magazine. The man, who was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, has not yet been publicly identified.