A new training squadron has been activated by the US Air Force at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, to train aircrew on how to remotely operate unmanned aircraft.

The 558th Flying Training Squadron will offer undergraduate training to remotely operate MQ-1 Predator aircraft, according to the Business Journal.

Equipped with two anti-tank missiles, the MQ-1 aircraft can be used to strike targets or engage in surveillance and intelligence gathering.

It is equipped with a camera and sensors to transmit data back to fighting forces via a satellite uplink and can be deployed for intelligence gathering for 24-hour periods with a rotation of crews.

The MQ-1 Predator is operated by a ground crew including a pilot, a sensor operator and a mission intelligence coordinator.

Randolph Randolph Air Force Base, which has currently 60 students assigned for training in the new squadron, will increase the number to 120 by the summer of 2011.

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