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Reserve RPA squadron begins operations at Hurlburt Field

Airman 1st Class Steven, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-9 Reaper crew chief (left), and Airman 1st Class Taylor, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-9 Reaper crew chief (right), prepare an MQ-9 Reaper for flight during Combat Hammer May 15, 2014, Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft units around the Air Force are evaluated four times a year and provided weapons, airspace and targets from Hill AFB, Utah, or Eglin AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. N.B./Released)

The 919th Special Operations Wing's remotely piloted aircraft unit, the 2nd Special Operations Squadron, has begun operations at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The 2nd SOS transistioned to Hurlburt Field from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The squadron also changed aircraft as well, moving from the MQ-1 Predator to the MQ-9 Reaper.

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- The 919th Special Operations Wing welcomes the 2nd Special Operations Squadron, its remotely piloted aircraft unit, home to the Emerald Coast.

The 2nd, comprised of about 140 Air Force Reservists formerly located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., began RPA operations in its new facility at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 14. Although the unit is located at Hurlburt Field, none of the aircraft will be located there. The RPAs are flown in various combat theater locations throughout the world.

The Airmen are associated with their active-duty counterparts, the 3rd SOS, who are assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command's 27th SOW at Cannon AFB, N.M.
Along with the change of scenery, the squadron changed its aircraft as well, transitioning from the MQ-1 Predator to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper aircraft just a couple of months ago.

The squadron's arrival marks the introduction of RPA operations to Hurlburt Field. In 2009, when the 2nd SOS was first activated at Nellis, the majority of Air Force RPA functions, including AFSOC RPA, were centralized in Nevada. Now that AFSOC's RPA enterprise has matured and migrated to its facilities, this move to Hurlburt completes the process of placing all AFSOC RPA operations on AFSOC bases.

Since its inception, the 2nd SOS has flown 57,225 hours on 2,346 combat support sorties.

For further information, contact 919th SOW Public Affairs at 850-883-6347.