Joint Base Balad, Iraq- There are a lot of different resources that the United States Military uses to get information and resources. But the newest addition to many military units serving on active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq is the new MQ-1 Predator Aerial Unmanned Aircraft.
The members of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing was issued one of the new Predator aircraft and put it immediately into action on February 13th. It is not often that a brand new Predator is given to a unit in the field that is fresh from the aircraft, having never flown before.
?We are being issues an aircraft that has not flown operationally before,? Said Lieutenant Colonel Debra Lee, the commander of the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance and Attack Squadron. ?We just got an aircraft with less than 4 hours of flying time, including testing in the United States so it?s a brand new operational bird for us,? said Colonel Lee.
As a rule units in the field often get an aircraft Predator that has many hours of service, so it was a real treat to get a new aircraft straight from the factory.
Without the maintainers, the UAV pilots and support staff the typical Predator aircraft would be dead in the water. It is the service and support of the citizens soldiers of the UAV Predator support units that make the aircraft come alive in an operational way.