April 16, 2021
Marine Corps MQ-9 reaches 10 thousand flight hours in Central Command
(UNDISCLOSED LOCATION) —
On March 31st, the Marine Corps’ first MQ-9A Unmanned Aerial System achieved 10 thousand total flight hours in the Central Command area of responsibility, a major milestone for the modernization of the force.
The MQ-9A “Reaper” is a Remote Split Operations (RSO) product from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated. The RSO capability revolutionizes military operations by allowing the system operator to be thousands of miles away from both the launching site, and airspace covered by the aircraft. VMU-1, a squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, pilots the forward deployed Reaper, which has supported daily combat operations for Task Force Southwest in Afghanistan before its end of mission, and later 5th Fleet in the Arabian Gulf.