MQ-9 Reaper joins Thunder Over Dover 2017

Children touch the Multi-Spectral Targeting System of an MQ-9 Reaper at the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 25, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Children touch the Multi-Spectral Targeting System of an MQ-9 Reaper at the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 25, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Adults, and Children alike surrounded and interacted with the display during the 2-day event. Along with the MQ-9, the show also featured many other aircraft displays as well as an aerial demonstration by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class James Thompson)

Staff Sgt. Nickie, MQ-9 Reaper crew chief assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, installs a locking pin to the motor during the assembly of the MQ-9 model Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Staff Sgt. Nickie, MQ-9 Reaper crew chief assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, installs a locking pin to the motor during the assembly of the MQ-9 model Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The Reaper traveled from Las Vegas to showcase the remotely piloted aircraft mission at the Thunder Over Dover Open House. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

Airman 1st Class Conner and Staff Sgt. Nikki, both crew chiefs assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, work to assemble the MQ-9 Reaper model August 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., in preparation for the 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House.

Airman 1st Class Conner and Staff Sgt. Nickie, both crew chiefs assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, work to assemble the MQ-9 Reaper model August 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., in preparation for the 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House. Spectators attended the two-day event to celebrate the Air Force’s 70th Anniversary, Dover AFB’s 75th Anniversary and the city of Dover’s 300th anniversary. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class James Thompson)

A child sits near an MQ-9 Reaper at the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 27, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. During the show, Airmen assigned to the 432nd Wing answered questions regarding remotely piloted aircraft missions and explained how the Reaper and MQ-1 Predator accomplish their missions.

A child sits near an MQ-9 Reaper at the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 27, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. During the show, Airmen assigned to the 432nd Wing answered questions regarding remotely piloted aircraft missions and explained how the Reaper and MQ-1 Predator accomplish their missions. In addition to the MQ-9, spectators enjoyed the likes of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the KC-135 Stratotanker, the C-130 Hercules, and the B-2 Spirit. The air show also included demonstrations from C-130s, a Red Nose P-51D Mustang and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Overall, more than 40,000 spectators came to enjoy the show.(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

An Airman assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, performs maintenance on the MQ-9 Reaper model in preparation for the 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

An Airman assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, performs maintenance on the MQ-9 Reaper model in preparation for the 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Spectators attending the show had the opportunity to speak to 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing pilots, sensor operator, intelligence personnel and maintainers about its capabilities and uses in combat operations overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class James Thompson)

Airman 1st Class Conner, crew chief assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, inspects the inside of an MQ-9 Reaper model fuselage August 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Airman 1st Class Conner, crew chief assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, inspects the inside of an MQ-9 Reaper model fuselage August 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Fifteen Airmen assigned 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Airmen attended the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 26-27, 2017, and answered questions about the model and the remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class James Thompson)

A boy plays with a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds model plane at Dover Air Force Base, Del., during the Thunder Over Dover Open House Aug. 27, 2017.

A boy plays with a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds model plane at Dover Air Force Base, Del., during the Thunder Over Dover Open House Aug. 27, 2017. In addition to the MQ-9 Reaper, spectators enjoyed the likes of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the KC-135 Stratotanker, the C-130 Hercules, and the B-2 Spirit. The air show also included demonstrations from C-130s, a Red Nose P-51D Mustang and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

Airmen assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, attach the Multi-Spectral Targeting System of an MQ-9 Reaper model before the 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House weekend Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Airmen assigned to the 432nd Maintenance Group, attach the Multi-Spectral Targeting System of an MQ-9 Reaper model before the 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House weekend Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. During the event, Airmen assigned to the 432nd Wing answered questions regarding remotely piloted aircraft operations and explained how the Reaper and MQ-1 Predator perform their missions every day in support of operations overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class James Thompson)

A father lifts his son for a better view at the Thunder Over Dover Open House at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Airmen from the 432nd Wing traveled from Las Vegas to help educate that public on remotely piloted aircraft operations and missions.

A father lifts his son for a better view at the Thunder Over Dover Open House at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Airmen from the 432nd Wing traveled from Las Vegas to help educate that public on remotely piloted aircraft operations and missions. During the show, Airmen answered questions regarding remotely piloted aircraft missions and explained how the Reaper and MQ-1 Predator accomplish their missions overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

Senior Airman Tashiona, 432nd Wing intelligence analyst, explains her mission to a man attending the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 25, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
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Senior Airman Tashiona, 432nd Wing intelligence analyst, explains her mission to a man attending the Thunder Over Dover Open House, Aug. 25, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. During the show, Airmen assigned to the 432nd Wing answered questions regarding remotely piloted aircraft missions and explained how the Reaper and MQ-1 Predator accomplish their missions. Thunder Over Dover, which ran from Aug 26-27, 2017, was a celebration of the Air Force’s 70 years of aviation, the 75th anniversary of Dover AFB and the 300th anniversary of the city of Dover. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --

Fifteen Airmen assigned to the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing celebrated 70 years of aviation while showcasing the remotely piloted aircraft MQ-9 Reaper model at the 2017 Thunder Over Dover air show Aug. 25-27, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

 

As part of Creech’s efforts to expand public knowledge on the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9, the Airmen, consisting of avionics and maintenance personnel, pilots, sensors, intelligence analyst and public affairs explained how RPA missions are executed 24/7/365 in support of combat operations overseas.

 

“It’s been a great experience being able to interface with the public,” said Capt. Tim, 11th Attack Squadron instructor pilot. “I’ve certainly seen a lot of people who were very interested in the MQ-9 and in our mission.”

 

This visit to Dover marked the second time that an MQ-1/9 has been on display for public viewing on the East Coast. Despite being overshadowed by larger aircraft, the MQ-9 drew large crowds interested in the aircraft and the men and women who execute RPA missions daily.

 

For many, this was the first time seeing a Reaper up-close while learning about its capabilities.

 

“I’m very impressed by it [MQ-9 Reaper],” said Mr. Edward Peters, retired Marine and Vietnam veteran. “I was also impressed by your people [432nd Wing/ 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing representatives], the new technology, the uniforms, their professionalism and the whole nine yards.”

 

Many were shocked to hear that aircrews operating the MQ-1/9s fly the mission from the continental United States.

 

“I think the Air Force is helping to save lives, not just the Drones [RPA], but with every plane,” said Peters. “The Airmen, the Marines, the Navy, the Army, everyone does what they need to without question and I thank them for their service.”

 

Overall attendees were amazed by the effectiveness of the Air Force’s ability to combine manned and remotely piloted assets to aid other services and coalition partners.

 

In addition to the MQ-9, spectators enjoyed the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the KC-135 Stratotanker, the C-130 Hercules, and the B-2 Spirit.

 

The air show also included demonstrations from C-130s, a Red Nose P-51D Mustang and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Overall, more than 40,000 spectators came to enjoy the show.

 

“I hope we’ve been able to give the public good information about our mission and its importance to the United States Air Force,” said Tim.