Here, There, and Everywhere: The Air Force’s Predator unmanned aerial vehicles are also heavily in demand in Iraq, where last month they flew more than 2,250 hours. The 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Balad AB, Iraq, employs 20 of the small UAVs. According to Capt. Fred Atwater, 46th ERS commander, the Predator team “is the largest game in town and an integral part of just about every large joint operation in Iraq.” He says the Predators, which can carry two Hellfire missiles, fly up to 22 hours straight without refueling and provide warfighters with full-motion video and an armed presence overhead throughout a mission. He adds: “The most rewarding missions are the ones where you escort a group of soldiers on a foot patrol. You weave them through hostile terrain and get them home safely.”
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