Future Trends

Texas Guardsmen Demonstrate MQ-9 Reaper Drone’s Agile Combat Capabilities

Guardsmen test

Texas Guardsmen Demonstrate MQ-9 Reaper Drone’s Agile Combat Capabilities

The Texas Air National Guard’s 147th Attack Wing has demonstrated the Agile Combat Employment capabilities of its MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system in a test at Scholes International Airport in Galveston, Texas. 

The system, which the guardsmen’s unit received in December 2023, was tested specifically on satellite launch and recovery to demonstrate how the MQ-9 Reaper can extend reach and flexibility in combat operations. The 147th Attack Wing’s demonstration showed the MQ-9’s adaptability to the ACE strategy that requires rapid deployment to counter increasing, dynamic threats, DVIDS reported.

The exercise also tested transforming typically large launch and recovery teams into smaller, lighter-equipped units for operations in fast-changing and challenging situations, the news website added. Such transformation demonstrates the ACE capability to maintain a responsive military presence, particularly in regions with limited traditional military facilities.

According to Lt. Col. Brian Chesko, the 147th Attack Wing’s maintenance squadron commander, Galveston’s airport provided a strategic site and “the perfect blend of challenges and opportunities” for their demonstration. He described the exercise as a “milestone event” moving U.S. airmen onward to “future potential opportunities.”

Besides the 147th Attack Wing, the U.S. Marines Corps also recently announced gains on the MQ-9 Reaper, with 100 pilots trained on the unmanned aerial system. 

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Category: Future Trends

Tags: 147th Attack Wing Agile Combat Employment Future Trends MQ-9 Reaper satellite launch unmanned aerial system US Air Force