Holloman Activates Second RPA Training Squadron

Officials at Holloman AFB, N.M., activated the 9th Attack Squadron as the base’s second MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft training unit. “MQ-9 training requirements have doubled,” said SMSgt. James Howard, 9th AS superintendent, in Holloman’s Oct. 4 release. “By having two training squadrons, it enables us to train more students to meet that requirement,” he added. The 9th AS stood up during a Sept. 28 ceremony. The unit will train half of the Reaper operators who receive their instruction at Holloman. The base’s 29th AS will train the others. Both units will share the base’s complement of MQ-9s, which currently stands at 11 aircraft, according to the release. “Last year, the US Air Force trained more RPA aircrew than traditional pilots, and that is a trend that is likely to continue,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Patton, 9th AS commander. The 9th AS traces its heritage to the 9th Fighter Squadron that flew P-38s, P-40s, and P-47s during World War II. (Holloman report by A1C Daniel Liddicoet)