Air Force officials announced today Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., as the candidate bases for one active duty Air Force MQ-1/9 remote split operations squadron.
The list of candidate bases was approved by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz.
These bases are now candidates to accept a single active duty MQ-1/9 RSO squadron consisting of 280 personnel and associated equipment. No remotely piloted aircraft will be assigned to the base under this action, only a ground control station.
The Department of Defense identified MQ-1/9 as one of the key Air Force capabilities in the current fight and for national defense.
The primary mission of an MQ-1/9 RSO squadron is to execute MQ-1/9 Predator/Reaper aircraft operations that conduct close air support, air interdiction, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Air Combat Command will begin conducting detailed, on-the-ground evaluations of the candidate bases covering a range of operational and facility requirements. The results of the surveys will be briefed to the secretary of the Air Force and Air Force chief of staff, who will then select a preferred alternative.
Based on the results of these efforts, officials expect to announce the preferred alternative in December 2011.
For more information, please contact Ann Stefanek, Air Force Public Affairs/Media Operations/Pentagon/ 703-695-0640 or firstname.lastname@example.org .