Second UAV FTU Reaches IOC

The Air Force’s new unmanned aerial vehicle formal training unit at Holloman AFB, N.M., reached initial operational capability with the MQ-1 Predator UAV on Sept. 10. That moves USAF closer to its goal of shifting all formal training for both the Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper by 2012 from Creech AFB, Nev., to Holloman, where there is room for expansion. “In the long-term, it’s going to create a lot more pilots and sensor operators than we would have had at Creech,” said Col. Greg Christ, vice commander of the 432nd Wing at Creech, which will continue as the center for UAV combat operations, while Holloman will concentrate on training. The 432nd Wing’s Det. 5 at Holloman, comprising 100 permanent party airmen, expects to train more than 80 UAV operators in Fiscal 2010. (Holloman report by SSgt. Sanjay Allen)