WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed an announcement from the U.S. Air Force that it will initiate the design of an $85 million project at Holloman Air Force Base to construct a new MQ-9 Formal Training Unit (FTU) operations facility to house three MQ-9 Attack Squadrons. The squadrons are the training units for new pilots and sensor operators for the MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The new facility will include administrative space, academic space, Fixed Ground Control Stations (FGCS), FGCS maintenance functions, training simulators and all secure spaces required to support the mission.
“The Remotely Piloted Aircraft mission is one of the fastest growing-- and demanding-- missions in the military, and it is of critical importance to our national security. The decision to invest in Holloman is a reflection of the tremendous community support and the exceptional training environment and expertise that New Mexico has to offer. Located just six miles from Alamogordo, Holloman contributes to the local economy and is part of a top-notch community that supports its airmen unlike any other in the country,” said Senator Heinrich. “This is a smart investment for a state-of-the-art facility that will create jobs at Holloman in the interim and hopefully for years to come. I will continue using my position on the Armed Services committee to highlight the unique advantages that our state and our people offer to the military.”
Holloman Air Force Base is the nation's premier RPA training location and Cannon Air Force Base hosts a special operations RPA mission. Senator Heinrich has led efforts to expand the RPA mission at Holloman Air Force Base, and in 2015 the Air Force heededSenator Heinrich’s call to address RPA personnel shortage.