The 49th Wing received its first MQ-9 Reaper through flight, Jan. 8, 2020. Typically when new MQ-9s are sent to Holloman, they are taken apart to ship and then reassembled when they arrive.
Having the aircraft ferried came with an array of benefits. Notably, maintainers did not have to spend around five full days putting it together, in turn that also meant the aircraft could be used almost immediately for training. Another important fact was that an MQ-9 flew through the National Airspace System, something many pilots would like to see normalized.