Airmen demonstrate unmanned aircraft not merely drones
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“ Both aircraft can initiate and complete the ‘killchain’ .” – Lt. Col. Scott Miller. Story by Staff Sgt. Zachary Wilson/Photo by Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

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Airmen demonstrate unmanned aircraft not merely ‘drones’

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Airmen demonstrate unmanned aircraft not merely drones

“Both aircraft can initiate and complete the ‘killchain’.” – Lt. Col. Scott Miller

Story by Staff Sgt. Zachary Wilson/Photo by Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan-- The door to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron features a drawing of an MQ-1 Predator armed with Hellfire

demonstrated to their adversaries on a regular basis.  “(Both the MQ-1 and MQ-9 are weapons-carrying aircraft,) and both have a hunter-killer role in

Airmen demonstrate unmanned aircraft not merely ‘drones’

addition to their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Scott Miller, 62nd ERQS.  The weapons systems feature a full-motion video camera and a set of two 500 lbs. laser-guided bombs that allow operators to not only observe and detect hostile forces, but also eliminate them if called upon to do so.   “Both aircraft can initiate and complete the ‘killchain’,” Colonel Miller said. “With their ability to loiter for long periods of time over a target, eliminate it, stay on station and then provide the (bomb damage assessment,) they provide continuity to a mission and prove to be invaluable assets.”

missiles underscored with the words “We’re not drones - we fire back.”

Often referred to by reporters as “drones,” unmanned aircraft systems like the MQ-1 Predator and RQ-4 Global Hawk are remotely-flown weapons systems flown both locally and stateside from ground stations using satellite uplinks. They're also far more complex than the U.S. military's relatively more simplified radio-controlled drone aircraft used for aerial target practice, according to UAS professionals.  For the Airmen flying and maintaining the lethal Predator and its big brother, the MQ-9 Reaper, from Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, and Creech Air Force Base, Nev., the message is

Capt. Ryan Jodoi, a UAV pilot, flies an MQ-9 Reaper while Airman 1st Class Patrick Snyder controls a full motion video camera at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan.


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