The USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nev., has activated the 26th Flying Training Squadron as the 26th Weapons Squadron, one dedicated to producing elite Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and sensor operators. The unit’s first class is to commence in January. Col. Scott Kindsvater, commandant of the Weapons School, called the stand-up of the new UAV squadron “a momentous occasion for a community of aviators that have been without this level of tactical integration and training in their history.” He noted, too, that it’s the first activation of a new unit for the school since creation of the F-117 and B-2 divisions in 2002. The new unit inherits the 26th patch, which had its origins with the 26th Pursuit (changed to Fighter in May 1942) Squadron activated in November 1940. Leading the new 26th WPS is Lt. Col. Daniel Turner, who has more than 3,600 flying hours in the C-130, AC-130, and MQ-1B Predator aircraft. (Nellis report by A1C Ryan Whitney)
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.