Iowa Squadron Briefed on MQ-9 Reaper
Cadets in the Iowa Wing’s ’s Des Moines Composite Squadron recently received a personal tour and up-close view of a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone from the 132nd Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard.
The cadets were escorted to the flight line for a question-and-answer session with 2nd Lt. David Moreno of the Iowa Air National Guard, who’s also a pilot in the Des Moines squadron.. Cadets learned about how the drone operates from Moreno and members of the North Dakota Air National Guard.
A pair of Reaper drones were in Des Moines for the Air Force’s Hawkeye Fury joint training exercise, which included Air National Guard units from Iowa and North and South Dakota.
“When they invited us to see the MQ-9 Reapers, the members of the Iowa Air National Guard talked about real-world aerospace education with our cadets,” said Maj. James McLaughlin, squadron commander. “We were able to see a multimillion-dollar aircraft, and you could see the eyes of the cadets light up when they realized what it could be like to be a pilot for the Air National Guard."
“One of the many things the cadets learned about was the teamwork approach to the mission,” McLaughlin said. “They were able to understand that it's not just about the aircraft and the pilots, but also the many layers of support personnel that are also necessary to successfully complete the mission.”