LAS VEGAS - A new squadron will begin operating Armed Predator spy planes
later this year from a base 45 northwest of Las Vegas, a Creech Air Force
Base, Nev., spokesman said.
The 19th Attack Squadron will be composed of crews in ground stations who
control Predators, a plane in high demand by battlefield commanders. The
planes employ weapons such as laser-guided Hellfire missiles and are used to
track targets in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This squadron of MQ-1 Predators will be activated at Creech in the summer or
fall, 1st Lt. Justin McVay, a spokesman for Nellis Air Force Base operations
at Creech, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Saturday report.
Creech Air Force Base is Nellis' sister airfield at Indian Springs, Nev.
Predators can be launched at airfields in Southwest Asia and controlled via
satellite link through what's called "remote-split operations" in ground
stations at Nellis or Creech.
McVay also acknowledge the existence of a Predator test squadron, the 30th
Reconnaissance Squadron at the Tonopah Test Range, about 145 miles northwest
of Las Vegas. Its operations are classified, he said.
The 30th, McVay said, was activated in a low-key ceremony in August.
It brings to five the number of active Predator squadrons at Creech. The
count doesn't include the 757th Operations Support Squadron, which provides
intelligence and weather information, or the 757th Aircraft Maintenance
Squadron, which maintains the pool of 46 Predators assigned to Nellis at
Creech Air Force Base.
The other four Predator squadrons are:
The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, which is composed of instructor pilots,
sensor operators and support personnel. The squadron trains air crews in
intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The 15th Reconnaissance Squadron, which is made up of unarmed RQ-1s and some
armed MQ-1 Predators for theater deployment to conduct long-endurance,
real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisitions in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The 17th Reconnaissance Squadron, which provides special capabilities for
The 3rd Special Operations Squadron, which was activated Oct. 28 under the
command of Air Force Special Operations out of Hurlburt Field, Fla.
McVay said plans call for consolidating remote, overseas operations in a
permanent building at Creech, where some 2,000 military personnel are
involved in Predator activities.
Information from: Las Vegas (Nev.) Review-Journal
Is this the Predator B variant?
Dunno, I'll have to Google....