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147th Attack Wing participates in Weapon System Evaluation Program exercise

147th MQ-9 Reaper flies over the Gulf

147th Attack Wing Members participate in a Weapon System Evaluation Program exercise conducted by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron from Eglin, Air Force Base, Florida, Nov. 3, 2019, at Ellington Field, Joint Reserve Base, Texas. (Air National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

147th AMXS loads an MQ-9 Reaper

147th Attack Wing Members participate in a Weapon System Evaluation Program exercise conducted by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron from Eglin, Air Force Base, Florida, Nov. 3, 2019, at Ellington Field, Joint Reserve Base, Texas. (Air National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)

ELLINGTON FIELD JOINT RESERVE BASE --

The WSEP exercise allows inspectors to evaluate tactics, weapon effectiveness, and airframe readiness. 147th Attack Wing members armed MQ-9 Reapers with live ammunitions for the first time at Ellington Field JRB, and completed launch and recoveries (LRE) by Mobile Dual Control Ground Control Station (GCS) and Ground Data Terminal (GDT).

“It’s an exciting time to be Reaper Keeper! We are flying from our ramp, exercising all specialties, and helping validate the effectiveness of munitions for the U. S. Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Derek Weaver, the 147th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “Morale is at an all-time high and I am proud of the men and woman that have worked hard every day to make this happen.”

MQ-9 Reapers were flown out of Ellington Field JRB, to an isolated training site in Florida and were evaluated during live-drop operations.

“Texans can be proud of what their Air National Guard has accomplished. Right down the road from where Houston CAPCOM launched our mission to the moon, we launched our first out of state weapons exercise with our aircraft beyond visual range," said Lt. Col. Christopher, an MQ-9 pilot assigned to the 111th Attack Squadron. “ This is the first step in a new era of the way the Texas Air National Guard serves the state, and country as a whole as our aircraft flies off into the sunrise of a cool Houston morning.”

The MQ-9 Reaper is the 12th airframe to be flown out of Ellington Field JRB, Texas.