A recent shift of control over the RQ-4 Global Hawk has been implemented within the 69th Reconnaissance Group Detachment 2. As of June 2019, the 69th RG transformed into the 319th Operations Group Det. 2. Even though the name changed, their mission stays the same supporting national objectives.
As an integral part of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance mission, the 69th RG provides enlisted and commissioned RQ-4 pilots with in-depth training.
“The RQ-4 is a vital piece of the puzzle to get combatant commanders the information they need to stay ahead of our adversaries,” Maj. Kevin, 69th RG commander said. “No one employs the RQ-4 without coming to the Formal Training Unit first.”
Stanley mentioned that this is where trainees receive their foundation to become pilots and sensor operators that effectively accomplish their mission of providing intelligence to the end user. This five-block program, which is also accredited through the Community College of the Air Force, spans from initial training to upgrade and instructor courses.
“The RQ-4 FTU is the only Missile Warning System FTU in the Air Force who trains enlisted pilots,” Kevin said. “They train side-by-side with their officer counterparts throughout Pilot Initial Qualification Training, Instructor Pilot Upgrade Training and accomplish the identical training.”
The unit gives their pilots a unique opportunity through how they train and where. Being geographically separated from their host wing, the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Det. 2 continues with business as usual.
“We continue to grow and advance, however, our number one goal is to always provide world class training,” Kevin said. “Our instructors moved to the FTU because they love to instruct.”
As an instructor, Capt. Matthew, 319th OG Evaluator Pilot, is excited to see where the new move will take the detachment in its advancements.
“I think we are thriving as a detachment and soon to be squadron,” Matthew said. “We have enthusiasm here at Det. 2 for what we do and we ensure our students know what they have to look towards as a pilot or sensor operator for the RQ-4.”
Matthew and his instructor peers have been placed in a unique base, which will mold training to how the Air Force will operate in the air, space and cyberspace domain. Teaching a new crop of highly skilled lieutenants and non-commissioned officers to move forward in innovative ways to provide ‘non-stop’ Intel for decision makers across the globe.
“I see the 319th OG mission getting bigger, better and in greater demand moving forward,” Matthew expressed. “Because of this capability, I expect policy makers to demand more utilization of our platform and platforms like us to maintain and attain national objectives.”