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Arizona attack unit reaches combat hour milestone

Remotely Piloted Aircraft aircrew fly simulated missions in an MQ-9 Reaper cockpit at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, Sept. 4, 2019. The RPA mission is supported by Airmen in a variety of roles, including intelligence analysts, air traffic controllers and maintenance professionals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Haley Stevens)

Remotely Piloted Aircraft aircrew fly simulated missions in an MQ-9 Reaper cockpit at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, Sept. 4, 2019. The RPA mission is supported by Airmen in a variety of roles, including intelligence analysts, air traffic controllers and maintenance professionals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Haley Stevens)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

The Arizona Air National Guard’s 214th Attack Group, reached a historic flight hour milestone Oct. 10.

The MQ-9 Reaper unit has flown more than 100,000 hours in support of 24-hour missions conducting persistent attack and reconnaissance; search and rescue and strike and support to civil authority missions.  Supporting local authorities in times of crisis and combat commanders around the globe.

“We set on a path as the first standalone MQ-1 Predator unit more than 12 years ago and during that time we have flown 100,000 hours and more than 5,500 sorties in support of missions overseas,” said Colonel Bryan Grasky commander of the 214th Attack Group.  “This is no small task and the last six months have been a challenge, but one we have overcome.”

As the 214th Reconnaissance Group, under the direction of the Arizona National Guard, in 2007 the unit began their mission flying the Predator from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and in 2017 the unit aligned under the 162nd Wing and renamed the 214th Attack Group.  The new name brought a new airframe and capabilities in the MQ-9 Reaper.  

The work of the Airmen at the 214th contributes to an overall momentous milestone for the United States Air Force.  The MQ-1 and MQ-9 hit the 2 million hour mark in 2012, the 3 million hour mark in 2016 and in March 2019 the Air Force announced the missions had reached the 4 million hour mark. On its own, the MQ-9 is set to reach 2 million hours.

The flight hours are a testament to the importance of the missions, the aircraft and the Airmen assigned to serve. 

“Thanks to all of you, we have reached this milestone at the 214th and across the Air Force,” said Grasky during a ceremony at Davis-Monthan.  “Your hard work and dedication to the mission has made the world a safer place.  I am proud of every one of you and I appreciate the work you do every day in service of our mission.”