Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hurlburt preferred site for Predator unit

Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the preferred alternative for the Air Force Reserve Command MQ-1 remote split-operations squadron, Air Force officials said. Hurlburt Field will get a single MQ-1 RSO squadron consisting of 140 personnel and associated equipment. This action does not involve remotely piloted aircraft, only ground control systems. The MQ-1 Predator's primary mission is to provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and precision-strike capability for joint force commanders. Predator flight operations are split between launch and recovery element aircrews overseas and mission-control element crews based in the United States. LRE crews launch and recover the aircraft within the area of responsibility. MCE crews operate the aircraft via satellite data links from locations within the States. Air Force officials said an environmental assessment will determine the final basing selection. The Air Force announced in May 2011 that the Eglin Complex in Florida was the candidate location for the Air Force Reserve Command MQ-1 remote split-operations squadron. The Eglin complex includes Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, Camp Rudder and Choctaw Field. Site survey teams evaluated the bases at the candidate location for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability requirements.(Source: AFNS, 08/5/11) Previous story