Holloman RPV Force Grows

The 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, N.M., activated four new squadrons Oct. 23, adding the 29th Attack Squadron, 6th Reconnaissance Squadron, 16th Training Squadron, and 849th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (Provisional). The 29th ATKS, 6th RS, and 16th TS all serve as remotely piloted vehicle training units under the 49th Operations Group, which oversees training in MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper RPVs. The 849th AMXS falls under the 49th Maintenance Group and is responsible for maintaining both RPVs. Original members of all four units worked initially at Creech AFB, Nev., the Air Force’s first RPV formal training unit and transferred to Holloman under detachments to set up the New Mexico facility at the new unmanned FTU central. Holloman flew its first Reaper flight last month, achieved initial operational capability with the Predator in September, and expects to fully replace Creech as the primary FTU by 2012. (Includes Holloman report by A1C Sondra Escutia)