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I Have been a little confused from reading the news articles so maybe someone already in an RPA squadron has some better intel. Is Whiteman going to get both a Pred and Reaper squadron or will Whiteman be Pred only and Elsworth be Reaper only?

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Looking for some help. Been searching/reading forever but can't find the post a while back linking to some new ISR capes our UAVs are getting/fielding. For the life of me I can't remember the call

The ACC A3 gave talks on Sunday and on Monday at Creech saying that all UPT guys that got UAVs out of UPT will have a manned cockpit waiting for them at the end of their first assignment. With the cu

So this must be good news for the RPA community.  Finally a decent AD location.  http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Tyndall-to-house-new-MQ-9-Reaper-Wing-460607493.html  

I Have been a little confused from reading the news articles so maybe someone already in an RPA squadron has some better intel. Is Whiteman going to get both a Pred and Reaper squadron or will Whiteman be Pred only and Elsworth be Reaper only?

Whiteman is pred only and Ellsworth will be Reaper only. The new squadron that the air force will pick its base in Dec will be both. The three bases Big Blue is thinking of is Hickham Hi, Shaw, Sc, and DM.

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Whiteman is pred only and Ellsworth will be Reaper only. The new squadron that the air force will pick its base in Dec will be both. The three bases Big Blue is thinking of is Hickham Hi, Shaw, Sc, and DM.

my money is on shaw

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Whiteman is pred only and Ellsworth will be Reaper only. The new squadron that the air force will pick its base in Dec will be both. The three bases Big Blue is thinking of is Hickham Hi, Shaw, Sc, and DM.

Where on Hickam's ramp are they going to put anything. Also, how are they going to deal with airspace issues?

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Where on Hickam's ramp are they going to put anything. Also, how are they going to deal with airspace issues?

It's a UAV they arent actually going to be a the base only the GCS's which all they need is a building.

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Where on Hickam's ramp are they going to put anything. Also, how are they going to deal with airspace issues?

Who said you need a ramp. Just give them a hangar and they can put 8 dual GCSes in it. Now you have enough facilities for 16 CAPs. But alas there would be no room left for a ping pong table so squadron morale would go straight down the sh*tter.

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I wonder what the management's thoughts are on actually doing what we're talking about...i.e. separating RPA drivers from the actual UAVs. While it's technically possible and I think a good idea WRT morale of the actual folks, you'd be splitting your operators and maintainers permanently and you'd have guys "flying" "planes" they'd never actually seen even more so than we do today when they fly the CAPs downrange. Just a thought...here's to hoping that better bases happen :beer:

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I wonder what the management's thoughts are on actually doing what we're talking about...i.e. separating RPA drivers from the actual UAVs. While it's technically possible and I think a good idea WRT morale of the actual folks, you'd be splitting your operators and maintainers permanently and you'd have guys "flying" "planes" they'd never actually seen even more so than we do today when they fly the CAPs downrange. Just a thought...here's to hoping that better bases happen :beer:

I've only been up close to my RPA twice.. i don't see why that's important

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I've only been up close to my RPA twice.. i don't see why that's important

Word...that's basically what I'm asking. In that case then yea, there's no reason not to put them at favorable locations other than to further dick with the operators.

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Is anyone out of the new RPA training or UPT going dirrect Reaper or is everyone still going Pred first? I start RPA training in March and my goal is to get a Reaper as quickly as possible. I am currently stationed at Nellis and my wife isnt exactly in love with the desert so I would like to be able to PCS out of here to somewhere a little greener. However from what I know it looks like Creech is the only ACC base to have both the Pred and Reaper and if thats the only way for me to achieve my goal then we will be staying here. Any info or advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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Upt dudes and RPA only dudes have to do the Pred first. The only folks that can go Reapers first our dudes from previous airframes and sensors. The timeline to get a reaper answer is it depends. Mainly on where you are at say you get whiteman as your base at drop well it will be awhile considering whiteman only has preds. But it is green. Ellsworth will be a Reap only but it isnt stood up yet. So creech is your best bet to go pred to reaper the fastest. But if you really want greener land Whiteman is nice.

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Is anyone out of the new RPA training or UPT going dirrect Reaper or is everyone still going Pred first?

No, and until they write a B course syllabus for the Reaper that won't change.

I start RPA training in March and my goal is to get a Reaper as quickly as possible.

Grow where you are planted and keep what you want to do between yourself and your flight commander. If you roll into a Pred squadron and make it clear you are just trying to use it as a stepping stone to get into a Reaper as a 18U you probably won't make a great impression with the bros.

I am currently stationed at Nellis and my wife isnt exactly in love with the desert so I would like to be able to PCS out of here to somewhere a little greener.

Copy. She wears the pants, and you are just along for the ride.

However from what I know it looks like Creech is the only ACC base to have both the Pred and Reaper and if thats the only way for me to achieve my goal then we will be staying here.

The biggest thing you have going for you is at Creech the OG is a 18U convert, and therefore will probably be pushing for 18Us to advance more than other places.

Any info or advice would be appreciated. Thanks

It is only a matter of time before they open the flood gate to the MQ-9 to 18Us so be patient. That said it is good to have goals but the difference between flying a Pred and a Reaper is nothing to get that excited over. You are still just sitting in an air conditioned trailer at zero knots and 1G the only thing that is new is now you transit at 165 KTAS vs 115 KTAS and carry GBUs, and honestly being a good Pred pilot is more demanding than being a good Reaper pilot and anyone who claims otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about.

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Lately, I haven't seen any barriers to 18As going to Reapers. A year ago it was undiscovered country. But the first few have transitioned, these days 18As and 11Us are being evaluated on nearly equal terms for MQ-9 tx in my sq. Really the calls for MQ-9 vols have been pretty desperate for the last 5-6 months. It has been a matter of picking non-vols or prodding people to go, more than holding back a bunch of eager UPT-Ds or 18As. I even wouldn't worry about making your intentions known as soon as you get to a MQ-1 sq (although that is typically great advice). I have seen guys get to Creech, make it known early they want to go to Whiteman or MQ-9s or wherever, work with leadership to get more seat time to build hours faster, and be on their way in just a few months.

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Lately, I haven't seen any barriers to 18As going to Reapers. A year ago it was undiscovered country. But the first few have transitioned, these days 18As and 11Us are being evaluated on nearly equal terms for MQ-9 tx in my sq.

Ironic they got a new OG who is an 18A about "a year ago." "Nearly equal terms" So you admit there is still a barrier.

Really the calls for MQ-9 vols have been pretty desperate for the last 5-6 months. It has been a matter of picking non-vols or prodding people to go, more than holding back a bunch of eager UPT-Ds or 18As.

That is because very few people are willing to go through 3-6 months in Holloman for a 75% chance(or better) to go to a squadron where they get treated a lot worse to do the exact same job just with a better camera and more things hanging off the rails.

I even wouldn't worry about making your intentions known as soon as you get to a MQ-1 sq (although that is typically great advice). I have seen guys get to Creech, make it known early they want to go to Whiteman or MQ-9s or wherever, work with leadership to get more seat time to build hours faster, and be on their way in just a few months.

There is a right way and a wrong way to make your intentions known. The wrong way is telling everyone you meet that MQ-1's are just a stepping stone to you getting to Reapers, which is where you really want to be. Because you come across as someone that thinks they are better than everyone else, and Creech is a pretty small community. So don't be that guy.

The right way is to go in with the mindset that you want to be the best MQ-1 pilot you can possibly be, and telling your flight commander I am interested in going into the MQ-9 if the opportunity presents itself. Your flight commander will then convey this at the right time and place to the squadron leadership when an opportunity for you to transition to MQ-9s presents itself. Additionally, when you check into the squadron the commander will want to have a sit down talk with you for a few minutes. At that time be tactful and convey your number 1 priority is getting CMR in their squadron(which it should be). IF the opportunity presents itself there is no harm in mentioning you are interested in going to the MQ-9 sooner rather than later, but don't force the issue.

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Ironic they got a new OG who is an 18A about "a year ago." "Nearly equal terms" So you admit there is still a barrier.

I don't see 18As being treated differently during CMR or during regular MCE ops. Obviously not all 18As are alike and some come loaded with operational experience. But honestly pretty much every problem CMR student I've seen at Creech has been UPT-D, retired return to active duty, or former MWS pilots. I would say that the first generation of 18As (Beta classes 1 and 2) got treated a bit differently, but nothing heinous really. Also, recent 18As are being handed positions of responsibility faster than a year ago. But still, there are heavier hours requirements for 18As to be considered "experienced" which is what I was mostly referring to with my "nearly equal terms" comment.

A year ago, the OG was pretty adament about 18As not going to MQ-9s or deploying until they had heavy time on station. Remember the complex hours criteria he tried to roll out? This many hours/months to deploy or make IP...

That has been trashed and the OG's tune seems to be far less restrictive...more so "why haven't these things happened more often for 18As yet?" Maybe it has something to do with the first UPT-Ds starting to get follow on jets.

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There is a right way and a wrong way to make your intentions known. The wrong way is telling everyone you meet that MQ-1's are just a stepping stone to you getting to Reapers, which is where you really want to be. Because you come across as someone that thinks they are better than everyone else, and Creech is a pretty small community. So don't be that guy.

The right way is to go in with the mindset that you want to be the best MQ-1 pilot you can possibly be, and telling your flight commander I am interested in going into the MQ-9 if the opportunity presents itself. Your flight commander will then convey this at the right time and place to the squadron leadership when an opportunity for you to transition to MQ-9s presents itself. Additionally, when you check into the squadron the commander will want to have a sit down talk with you for a few minutes. At that time be tactful and convey your number 1 priority is getting CMR in their squadron(which it should be). IF the opportunity presents itself there is no harm in mentioning you are interested in going to the MQ-9 sooner rather than later, but don't force the issue.

This is well said. I wouldn't be scared to say something, but you do need say it tactfully and you need to give Preds 100% while you're there.

Really though, my point was more that filling MQ-9 transition classes has been a major heartache in my Sq. Forcing the Commander to constantly be polling the masses and leaning on flight leadership to drum up volunteers over the last 6 months. This was obviously a bigger problem when the class dates were short notice.

In general I would say the 15th and 18th are rare in that they are feeder squadrons with extremely high levels of turnover and progression. We have loaner pilots/sensors who already know they have a new assignment looming and are just there for seasoning. We get people pulled for short notice PCAs on a regular basis. It is a rare case where tactfully declaring your future plans may immediately solve your Flt/CC's and Sq/CCs problem.

I've even seen a guy tell the Sq/CC during his initial sit-down that he really wanted to PCS...to a location the CC coincidentally needed to send people to. He wasn't treated any differently in the Sq and soon got his wish granted.

If you get assigned initially to any other squadron, then my advice probably won't work for you.

Edited by Radio
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Of late many of the pred dudes that are going to holloman to do TX-2 are pred IPs and will be going back to Holloman to be an IP. 26th wps is also has a tx-2 course that has a handful betas in the class. I foresee the large majority of Reaper dudes coming out of Holloman to not be going to the forty-deuce, but more than likely going to ellsworth. Also, 'cuse will be a full-up FTU this winter. Ellsworth will be full up come spring. If you want to go reaper make it clear to your DO that you want to go fly the reaper in squadron X, and they will do their best to help you out, especially if it is just a PCA around creech. If you have yet to start any FTU talk to someone in leadership and tell them you want to fly the reaper at ellsworth, this way you may be able to jump on the reaper train before FTU with orders to go to ellsworth when you are done. PM me if you want more info.

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honestly being a good Pred pilot is more demanding than being a good Reaper pilot and anyone who claims otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about.

Scoff. Saying that one is more difficult than the other implies that either one is difficult in the first place, which neither are.

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Can someone explain the purpose of an LRE and why we need it? I am writing a paper for school and need general info. Thanks

Published: 1 January 2009 Air & Space Power Journal (Excerpt)

One of the many reasons for the success of these weapon systems is their overall utility to the ground commander. Unlike some Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs) that simply transmit the video or still picture signal from their sensor to one location on the ground, USAF CONOPs for Predator/Reaper UAS employ Remote Split Operations (RSO) in which a very small forward-deployed Launch-Recovery Element (LRE) is responsible for launch, recovery, and maintenance of the aircraft on the ground in the AOR. Once the aircraft is launched and its systems are functioning, it is handed off to one of several units in the Continental US (CONUS), currently either the 432 AEW, 27 Special Operations Wing, 163 RW, 119 Wing, 147 RW, or 214 Reconnaissance Group to employ it for the next 20-22 hours of its mission. Using ACC, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Force Reserve Command, and ANG units for these missions is truly a Total Force success story. Once handed off, the LRE then either launches another aircraft for another CONUS squadron or recovers one that is waiting to be handed off to it for landing. The LRE repeats this cycle continuously in their forward location, again making maximum use of people and equipment forward. This RSO concept results in a much more efficient use of equipment and personnel resources than deploying the entire unit forward to fly locally. Only the LRE rotates in and out of the AOR on an Air Expeditionary Force cycle. The vast majority of personnel remain at their CONUS base, flying continuous combat operations without the need to reconstitute after deployment, retrain in tactics, or work up for their next deployment. The GCSs and other equipment are much more efficiently used as well, since they are in continuous use, flying whatever aircraft are assigned by the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) in theater, under the command and control of the Combined Force Air Component Commander through the 432 AEW. For instance, if weather is bad in Iraq, or an operation in Afghanistan requires the additional sorties that day, more aircraft can be launched in Afghanistan, creating more missions for ground commanders there. The crews simply arrive on shift in the CONUS for a mission brief, are informed that on that day they will fly in Afghanistan, and proceed from there. The inherent flexibility of RSO is impressive. If the crews and equipment were located in theater and dedicated to one local area in the above scenario, they would simply go unused. But with RSO, the USAF puts more assets into the fight.

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