Air Force officials announced May 3 the Eglin Air Force Base complex in Florida as a candidate for an Air Force Reserve Command MQ-1 Remote Split-Operations squadron.
“The selection of this candidate is the result of a deliberate, measured and transparent process,” said Kathleen Ferguson, the deputy assistant secretary for installations. “The Air Force looks forward to working with the communities surrounding this location to ensure all concerns are addressed.”
This base complex is the candidate to accept a single MQ-1 RSO squadron consisting of 140 personnel and associated equipment. There are no remotely-piloted aircraft associated with this action, only ground control systems.
The candidate location was selected using basing criteria announced by Air Force officials Nov. 21, 2010.
The primary mission of an MQ-1 RSO squadron is to support the MQ-1 Predator aircraft operations that conduct close air support, air interdiction, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Remote split-operations consist of launching an RPA via line-of-sight operations from one location, and controlling the aircraft remotely from a mission control element that is operated at another location beyond line-of-site.
Air Force Reserve Command officials will begin conducting detailed on-the-ground, evaluations of the candidate complex covering a range of operational and facility issues. The results of the surveys will be briefed to the Air Force secretary and Air Force chief of staff, who will then select one location as a preferred alternative.
Based on the results of these efforts, officials expect to announce the preferred alternative in summer 2011.
(Courtesy of Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs)