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Reaper showcased at JB Charleston Air & Space Expo

Spectators get an up-close and personal look at the MQ-9 Reaper April 28, 2018, during the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. During the air show more than 80,000 spectators had the opportunity to learn about the MQ-9 and its mission from the Airmen who fly, maintain and support it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Spectators get an up-close and personal look at the MQ-9 Reaper April 28, 2018, during the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. During the air show more than 80,000 spectators had the opportunity to learn about the MQ-9 and its mission from the Airmen who fly, maintain and support it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

A spectator takes a photo of the MQ-9 Reaper during the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo April 27, 2018, at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show offered more than 50 displays including the MQ-9. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

A spectator takes a photo of the MQ-9 Reaper during the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo April 27, 2018, at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show offered more than 50 displays including the MQ-9. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

The MQ-9 Reaper is displayed April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. During the air show, MQ-9 crews were able to explain how they provide persistent attack and reconnaissance capabilities 24/7/365 to deliver justice to the nation's enemies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

The MQ-9 Reaper is displayed April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. During the air show, MQ-9 crews were able to explain how they provide persistent attack and reconnaissance capabilities 24/7/365 to deliver justice to the nation's enemies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Damian Kemp, five, son of Tech. Sgt. Roger Kemp, 628th Civil Engineering Squadron fire fighter, inspects the propeller of an MQ-9 Reaper April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. During the event, spectators received an up-close and personal look at the Reaper and interacted with the crews who fly, maintain and support the aircraft and its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Damian Kemp, five, son of Tech. Sgt. Roger Kemp, 628th Civil Engineering Squadron fire fighter, inspects the propeller of an MQ-9 Reaper April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. During the event, spectators received an up-close and personal look at the Reaper and interacted with the crews who fly, maintain and support the aircraft and its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

A couple takes a selfie in front of the MQ-9 Reaper April 28, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. MQ-9 crews were able to answer questions and educate the public on their persistent attack and reconnaissance mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

A couple takes a selfie in front of the MQ-9 Reaper April 28, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. MQ-9 crews were able to answer questions and educate the public on their persistent attack and reconnaissance mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing assemble an MQ-9 Reaper for display at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo April 26, 2018, at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show provided the opportunity to educate the public on combat Remotely Piloted Aircraft capabilities and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing assemble an MQ-9 Reaper for display at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo April 26, 2018, at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show provided the opportunity to educate the public on combat Remotely Piloted Aircraft capabilities and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Tech. Sgt. Daniel, 489th Attack Squadron sensor operator, explains the capabilities of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System of an MQ-9 Reaper to spectators April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. More than 80,000 spectators were able to learn about the MQ-9 and how the Airmen who fly and maintain it deliver persistent attack and reconnaissance capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Tech. Sgt. Daniel, 489th Attack Squadron sensor operator, explains the capabilities of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System of an MQ-9 Reaper to spectators April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. More than 80,000 spectators were able to learn about the MQ-9 and how the Airmen who fly and maintain it deliver persistent attack and reconnaissance capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Mark Kirsch performs a C-17 Globemaster II pull as part of a Man vs. Impossible stunt April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show included more than 50 displays for 80,000 spectators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

Mark Kirsch performs a C-17 Globemaster II pull as part of a Man vs. Impossible stunt April 27, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show included more than 50 displays for 80,000 spectators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

A T-38 Talon performs April 28, 2018, during the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show hosted more than 50 displays including the MQ-9 Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

A T-38 Talon performs April 28, 2018, during the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show hosted more than 50 displays including the MQ-9 Reaper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

The MQ-9 Reaper is prepared for the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo April 26, 2018, at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show took place from April 27-28, 2018 and hosted more than 80,000 attendees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)
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The MQ-9 Reaper is prepared for the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo April 26, 2018, at JB Charleston, S.C. The air show took place from April 27-28, 2018 and hosted more than 80,000 attendees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. --

Remotely piloted aircraft pilots, sensor operators and maintenance personnel from Creech Air Force Base, Nev., showcased their MQ-9 Reaper alongside science, technology, engineering and math displays April 27-28, 2018, at the Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo at JB Charleston, S.C.

During the air show, these MQ-9 crews answered the many questions of eager spectators of all ages, most of whom had never seen an RPA in person before.

“In terms of educating the public, I think the air show went really well,” said 1st Lt. Ryan, 489th Attack Squadron pilot. “A lot of people had an idea of what we do, some more than others, but they all asked a lot of questions and I think getting out to see it in person gave them a better idea of our mission.”

Ryan went on to say that most of the information people know about the MQ-9 may not always be completely accurate so being able to provide the most factual information possible first-hand is really beneficial.

Since the MQ-9 Reaper is still a relatively new asset, many of the questions from spectators were general-knowledge based.

“Many people are familiar with jet fighters but since we’re still such a new technology they were very curious as to how we affect the battlespace,” said Senior Airman Colton, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons system technician.

The Reaper crews briefed the aircraft’s capabilities and how they integrate with joint and coalition platforms to provide persistent attack and reconnaissance to deliver justice to the nation’s enemies 24/7/365.

“People were really surprised at how efficient this aircraft is at what it does,” Colton said. “When I would tell people the accuracy of the weapons we employ and the cost of the system relative to the maintenance hours we have to put in, they were overall really impressed with the aircraft.”

Colton explained that many of the questions children were asked, one of his favorites was, “where does the pilot sit?” because they didn’t understand there’s no one physically in the aircraft.

To answer the question, he compares the satellite connections to a remote control plane the children might have at home, to which the looks on their faces were of utter surprise.

In fact, he loved briefing the children because attending air shows had indeed impacted his own decision to join the Air Force.

“I remember being a little kid and going to air shows and I was always in awe of the aircraft and airpower in general,” he said. “Twenty years later as an Airman myself, it’s very rewarding to interact with the kids because you never know which ones are going to grow up and join the Air Force.”

In total, the air show hosted more than 80,000 spectators and 50 displays including statics such as the C-5M Supergalaxy, B-1B Lancer and more. The expo also included aerial acts including an F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-17 Globemaster II and other aircraft.

The MQ-9 Airmen who attended the event believe these air shows are a great tool and opportunity for the Air Force and the enterprise to educate the public on RPA operations.

“I think the public has a right to know what we do and what we offer,” Colton said. “Everyone loves to see the aircraft whether on the ground or in the air. This is a great opportunity to get out there and show them who we are, what we do and to generate interest.”

The MQ-9 Reaper is scheduled to appear at many more shows this year. To see if it’s coming to a show near you, please visit the Creech Air Force Base Facebook page or contact the Public Affairs office.