39 Squadron Reaper land­mark

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

Reaper has passed a new mile­stone, with 39 Squadron reach­ing 50,000 hours of fly­ing in sup­port of Oper­a­tion Her­rick. 39 Squadron op­er­ates Reapers over Afghanistan along­side XIII Squadron, us­ing ground con­trol sta­tions at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Wadding­ton and Creech Air Force Base in Ne­vada. RAF pi­lots, sen­sor oper­a­tors and ground crew also sup­port the air­craft at a launch and re­cov­ery el­e­ment at Kan­da­har.

83 Ex­pe­di­tionary Air Group (83 EAG) pro­vides com­mand and con­trol of Reaper in Afghanistan. Air Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing 83 EAG, Air Com­modore Al Gillespie con­grat­u­lated the Reaper force on its achieve­ment.

He said: “Al­most ev­ery day Reaper pro­vides UK and the In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity As­sis­tance Force (ISAF) forces with a bat­tle-win­ning ca­pa­bil­ity which has un­doubt­edly saved coali­tion lives and tipped the scales in their favour in the most dif­fi­cult of cir­cum­stances.

“Since Reaper ar­rived in Afghanistan the air­crew, in­tel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als and sup­port staff of 39 and XIII Squadrons have proven them­selves to be su­perb war-fighters and dili­gent oper­a­tors.”

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