Wehrtechnik & Rüstung, Sicherheit und Verteidigung außerhalb Europas
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Air Force Makes Extremely Rare Mention Of Deployment Of RQ-170 Stealth Drones
The U.S. Air Force has made an extremely unusual decision to publicly disclose a deployment of RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drones sometime in the last six months or so. More than a decade after the service officially acknowledged the existence of this unmanned aircraft, details about its operations remain highly classified.
The Air Force's 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada quietly revealed the RQ-170 deployment earlier this week. The disclosure was tucked in with other information relating to a visit to Creech by General Mark Kelly and Chief Master Sergeant David Wade, the commander and command chief of Air Combat Command (ACC), respectively.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... lth-drones
"Since Kelly’s visit in October, the 432nd AEW has begun flying MQ-9 Reaper sorties out of Romania, successfully deployed and redeployed RQ-170 Sentinel forces, and broke ground on the 25th Attack Group’s forthcoming headquarters and operations building at Shaw AFB, South Carolina," the 432nd's Public Affairs Office wrote in an official news item.
"RPAs [remotely piloted aircraft] are meeting the needs of Combatant Commanders today – in both contested and non-contested environments," Air Force Colonel Stephen Jones, the Wing's commander, said in a statement. "The wide array of mission sets the MQ-9 and RQ-170 are asked to perform remains our hallmark – we do not shy away from these tough tasks; we remain ready to take them on in all environments."
The Air Force news item did not say where the RQ-170s had deployed or when that deployment took place. While it is known that Sentinels have and continue to operate overseas, we here at The War Zone cannot remember another time in which the service has proactively offered any sort of information about a specific operational deployment of these drones. The vast majority of the official details about the exploits of these unmanned aircraft have been obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), though various reports about their activities have also emerged based on information from anonymous sources.