The US Air Force will add a new formal training unit (FTU) for an additional MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

The unmanned aircraft system FTU will enable the air force to increase the number of Predator and Reaper combat operators as the demand for UAS capabilities grows.

The training will also boost the flexibility and efficiency of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and lethal employment options of the Predator and Reaper force.

The air force base received a favourable environmental impact analysis before being selected as the training base.

Other factors considered for selection included the best combination of existing facilities, restricted airspace, cost effectiveness, mission compatibility and weather.