Final American MQ-1 training class graduates from Holloman

An MQ-1 Predator sits on the flight line of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Aug. 19, prior to maintenance that will keep it flying and training the next generation of Air Force pilots and sensor operators. The MQ-1 is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft system. The MQ-1's primary mission is interdiction and conducting armed reconnaissance against critical, perishable targets. When the MQ-1 is not actively pursuing its primary mission, it acts as the Joint Forces Air Component Commander-owned theater asset for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of the Joint Forces commander.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya)

An MQ-1 Predator sits on the flight line of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Aug. 19, prior to maintenance that will keep it flying and training the next generation of Air Force pilots and sensor operators. The MQ-1 is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft system. The MQ-1's primary mission is interdiction and conducting armed reconnaissance against critical, perishable targets. When the MQ-1 is not actively pursuing its primary mission, it acts as the Joint Forces Air Component Commander-owned theater asset for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of the Joint Forces commander.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, NEW MEXICO, --

The last U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator Remotely Piloted Aircraft training class celebrated its graduation with the 6th Attack Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Dec. 2, 2016.

“The RPA community is entering a time of transition,” said Capt. Chris, an MQ-1 Flight instructor. “The MQ-1 is being put to rest, making this the last student graduation for Americans.”

The 6th ATKS has provided initial qualification training for pilots and sensor operators learning to operate the MQ-1 since 2009.

“This marks a new step for training and the airframes here at Holloman,” said Chris. “The MQ-1 has been an amazing piece of equipment, ever since it was first used back in the nineties, its been an invaluable asset to our conflicts.”

The 6th ATKS is slated to start transitioning from MQ-1s to MQ-9 Reapers in early 2017.

“With the MQ-1 retiring and us transitioning to MQ-9s, you should see very little if any change at all in operations,” said Chris. “Now we are just moving on to its bigger, badder brother, the Reaper.”