The U.S. Air Force has issued a set of criteria for selecting up to two additional bases for a new MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle wing in an effort to diversify assignments for service personnel.
The Air Force said in a news release published Tuesday it determined the need for additional installations after it surveyed MQ-9 and MQ-1 Predator enterprise officers and airmen as part of the Air Combat Command’s Culture and Process Improvement Program.
The service branch’s criteria include capacity, environmental requirements, cost factors, runway length and other mission requirements.
The military branch plans to base an operations unit with mission control elements at the first potential MQ-9 Reaper location as well as host a full MQ-9 wing with both mission control and launch and recovery elements at the second potential installation.
The Air Force plans to announce candidate bases in the summer of 2016 and alternative installations by the winter of 2016 or 2017.