Remotely Piloted Aircraft Overload

Air Combat Command officials are considering moving some remotely piloted aircraft operations from Creech AFB, Nevada, to other locations, said Gen. William Fraser, ACC boss, Tuesday. Creech is “getting saturated, so we need to break out the capacity,” he stated during his Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series speech in Arlington, Va. He did not indicate what sites are under consideration. Creech is the Air Force’s major RPA hub, with airmen there using satellite communication links to control many of the MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers that fly combat air patrol missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing invaluable intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance and strike capability. Fraser said the Air Force is well on its way to stand up the required 50 RPA combat air patrols by 2011 and then move towards 65 after that. (See Predator, Reaper CAPs Soaring and A Busy 12 Months from the Daily Report archives.)