Reaper Creep at Creech

The last Active Duty MQ-1 Predator maintainers are transitioning to the MQ-9 Reaper. The 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Creech AFB, Nev., which has maintained Predators since the early 2000s, launched their first Reaper on Aug. 25, according to a 432nd Wing release. A 432nd crew chief said he’s excited for the transition because the Reaper’s “payload is bigger, it’s easier to work on, and it’s more reliable and resilient,” according to the release. The service ordered 30 more of the more powerful Reapers in August and plans to retire the Predator by 2018. (See also: Reapers and the RPA Resurgence from the August 2016 issue of Air Force Magazine.)