The first MQ-9 Reaper for Holloman Air Force base made its first flight expanding the capacity for the base’s remotely piloted vehicle formal training unit.

The first flight was conducted by the 432nd Operations Group instructors who will become the 29th Attack Squadron in near future.

The MQ-9 formal training unit (FTU) has been preparing for this flight for about a year, and has recently reached full operational capacity with the arrival of their first aircraft and qualified crew.

At present, the FTU is being trained, with aircraft launched from Creech Air Force Base using satellite relays to pick up the MQ-9 for a total of 18 hours a day.

Qualified crews and enough aircraft at the Holloman base will enable the squadron to launch and recover the Reaper themselves.