Creech Airmen showcase RPA at Canadian air show
By Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen, 432 Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 29, 2015
CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- The MQ-1 Predator made its debut in Canada among 30,000 Alberta locals in Lethbridge July 23-25. It's the second time it was showcased at an international air show.
Fifteen Airmen from Creech Air Force Base participated in the 2015 Lethbridge International Air Show and educated the civilian population on the Predator's capabilities.
"We brought the MQ-1 Predator and members from different career fields like maintenance, intelligence, sensor operators and pilots so we could educate the public in every facet of the mission," said 2nd Lt. Joel, the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron chief of intelligence. "We wanted to show everyone that the plane is not 'unmanned' and it takes a lot of manpower in every stage of operating the aircraft."
Among the high-flying maneuvers and exciting explosions of other demonstrations, the remotely piloted aircraft held the attention of many intrigued spectators and at any given time was surrounded by curious parents and children.
"We were really well received by everyone," said Capt. Reed, a 15th RS pilot. "We really wanted to dispel any misnomers and put faces to the plane and provide open communication to educate people on what we do, which is ultimately saving lives, and I think we did that."
The surprisingly large Predator has a 55-foot wing span, yet it fits in a 27 feet long, 4.5 feet wide, and 4 feet tall casket, and was transported by a C-5M Super Galaxy and aircrew from the 22nd Airlift Squadron.
"It's a really cool plane. I thought it was a lot smaller, but it's actually quite big," said Wayne Burndred, a Calgary, Alberta, resident.
For most spectators, this was the only time they have seen the aircraft up close.
"I loved seeing the Predator here and being able to see it in person and talk to the guys who actually operate it," said Doug Kakuschke, a resident of Brooks. "It was great having the American presence here again and I hope we can continue to have them participate in the years to come."
The 20-year semi-annual air show included demonstrations from a Canadian Forces F-18 Hornet, B-17 Flying Fortress, biplanes, and the Royal Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
"Overall the air show went great," Reed said. "It was a great opportunity to work with our coalition partners and even Airmen from other U.S. bases to develop partnerships and set the foundation for more international events in the future."