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Fighting 49ers say farewell to Predator

An MQ-1 Predator taxies under water from a fire hose during its final flight Feb. 27, 2017 at Holloman Air Force N.M. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Jonsgaard)

An MQ-1 Predator taxies under water from a fire hose during its final flight Feb. 27, 2017 at Holloman Air Force N.M. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Jonsgaard)

An MQ-1 Predator parks after its final flight Feb. 27, 2017 at Holloman Air Force N.M. The MQ-1 Predator is a multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Jonsgaard)

An MQ-1 Predator parks after its final flight Feb. 27, 2017 at Holloman Air Force N.M. The MQ-1 Predator is a multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Jonsgaard)

Aircrew for the MQ-1 Predator are sprayed down with water and champagne after the MQ-1’s final flight Feb. 27, 2017 at Holloman Air Force N.M. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Jonsgaard)

Aircrew for the MQ-1 Predator are sprayed down with water and champagne after the MQ-1’s final flight Feb. 27, 2017 at Holloman Air Force N.M. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Jonsgaard)

An Airman unveils Mr. James G. Clark, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Modernization and Infrastructure; Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, and Mr. Abraham Karem, the founding father of the unmanned aerial vehicle technology and designer of the Predator, names on the static MQ-1 Predator at a ceremony that will be displayed in Heritage Park at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman Ilyana A. Escalona)

An Airman unveils Mr. James G. Clark, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Modernization and Infrastructure; Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, and Mr. Abraham Karem, the founding father of the unmanned aerial vehicle technology and designer of the Predator, names on the static MQ-1 Predator at a ceremony that will be displayed in Heritage Park at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman Ilyana A. Escalona)

Mr. James G. Clark, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Modernization and Infrastructure; Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, speaks about the MQ-1 Predator during a ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Ilyana A. Escalona)

Mr. James G. Clark, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Modernization and Infrastructure; Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, speaks about the MQ-1 Predator during a ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Ilyana A. Escalona)

Lt. Col. Geoff Fukumoto, the 6th Attack Squadron Commander, speaks about the MQ-1 Predator during a ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ilyana A. Escalona)

Lt. Col. Geoff Fukumoto, the 6th Attack Squadron Commander, speaks about the MQ-1 Predator during a ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ilyana A. Escalona)

Col. Houston R. Cantwell, the 49th Wing Commander, speaks about the MQ-1 Predator during a ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Ilyana A. Escalona)

Col. Houston R. Cantwell, the 49th Wing Commander, speaks about the MQ-1 Predator during a ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 27, 2017. The MQ-1 Predator has provided many years of service and is being phased out of service as the Air Force transitions to the more capable MQ-9 Reaper. The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Ilyana A. Escalona)

Holloman Air Force Base N.M. --

Holloman Air Force Base retired its MQ-1 mission Feb. 27, 2017 during a ceremony here.

“Today we close the chapter of the MQ-1 Predator here at Holloman,” said James G. Clark, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Modernization and Infrastructure; Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, Headquarters United States Air Force. “The MQ-1 was a revolution. It changed the way of aviation. Risk taking leadership and innovators saw the vision of the MQ-1 and made this airframe a success.”

Originally called the RQ-1 Predator System and later re-named the MQ-1 Predator in 2002 after the addition of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, the remotely piloted aircraft system is an armed, multi-mission, long-endurance aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset.

“The MQ-1 has almost four million flying hours with 92 percent of those hours being combat hours,” Clark said. “What you [RPA aircrew] do matters.”

Holloman AFB’s 6th Attack Squadron has graduated 752 pilots and 544 sensor operators on this airframe. The RPA mission at Holloman will now transition solely to the MQ-9 Reaper.

“When I took command of the 6th Attack Squadron, I was told to double the outcome of pilots and sensor operators, with half the manning to do so,” said Lt. Col. Geoff Fukumoto, 6th ATKS commander. “We graduated every MQ-1 Predator class early. Take this time to reflect on the part you play in history. Thank you to the community and Airman for the superb work, job well done.”

A static MQ-1 Predator will be on display in Heritage Park.