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“1000s of Hands” Project: 62nd ERS MQ-9 Reaper aircraft technician

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford
  • 455th AEW Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Morales, 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron MQ-9 Reaper aircraft technician, keeps the Reapers at Kandahar Airfield in the air by performing routine maintenance on the aircraft as well as launching and recovering them to keep the missions and sorties going.

“We are in charge of launching and recovering aircraft,” said Morales. “We support the guys on the ground. If anything breaks that’s going to delay our launching, we make sure to take care of it in a timely manner.”

The Predator is a newer aircraft and Morales and the 62nd ERS maintainers work through any new issues to keep the mission going.

“It’s a brand new aircraft and is still developing; we are still learning about it,” said Morales. “It’s not a difficult aircraft to work on, but you come up with something new and different every time while troubleshooting. It’s up to us to figure it out and make it easier for those after us.”

Morales also talked about how rewarding it is to help launch and recover aircraft while deployed.

“It’s great deploying with them; we get to see what they do and who we’re supporting. We get to see the effect it has and how much of a difference it makes if this aircraft isn’t up in the air and someone on the ground needs it. You get to see how big of an impact we have on the big picture.”

Morales is part of the ‘1000s of Hands’ of 455 AEW Airmen who are crucial to the wing’s mission to generate and sustain airpower on the combat frontier of Afghanistan’s NATO’s Resolute Support mission and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The ‘1000s of Hands’ project highlights Vulture Airmen who have a hand in delivering a blanket of steel, technology and courage to protect the force in the field and support Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.