by 1st Lt. Alicia Lacy
147th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
11/8/2015 - November 8, 2011 --
The 147th Reconnaissance Wing, Texas Air National Guard, reached 100,000
flying hours on the MQ-1B Predator aircraft, here, Oct. 8.
The wing accomplished this milestone seven short years after receiving its mission to fly the aircraft.
"There have been many milestones along the way for the 111th
[Reconnaissance Squadron] since Ellington took on this mission, and
there will continue to be more, but this is a very significant
accomplishment," said Lt. Col. David Peck, 111th Reconnaissance Squadron
commander. "To put 100,000 hours in context, that amount of time is
equivalent to flying for 11.41 years non-stop, and we did it in just
In 2005, the then-147th Fighter Wing's converted from F-16 Fighting
Falcons, replacing them with the reconnaissance aircraft, with plans for
the unit to be fully equipped and operational by 2009. This change
required airmen to adjust and re-train on a new aircraft that began its
initial operational capability in the U.S. Air Force only a few years
before the wing took its first flight July 2008.
The accomplishment cannot only be attributed to the pilots who fly the
mission, but to the entire wing, from the member charged with writing
orders to the maintainers who keep the aircraft mission ready and the
combatant commanders who use the aircraft in theater.
"We have had to forge and maintain working relationships with a host of
organizations over the years," Peck said. "Additionally, we count on
support from our advocates at NGB to give us the funding, manpower and
voice we need to enable these missions.
"I deeply appreciate the constant hard work and professionalism required
by the 147th Reconnaissance Wing to accomplish this milestone, and the
great state of Texas can expect impressive achievements from the 147th
for years to come," said Col. Gary Jones, vice wing commander.