As technology on the battlefield changes and evolves, remotely piloted aircraft such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper, continue to provide combatant commanders with unblinking eyes and attack capabilities from the sky. Some of these capabilities, such as being able to stay airborne for nearly 24 hours, see with high fidelity both night and day and operate virtually unseen, makes RPAs a highly effective platform in the war on terrorism.
To accomplish flight, two geographically separate aircrews work together: the mission control element and launch and recovery element. The MCE is responsible for executing the mission, while the LRE conducts successful takeoffs and landings. While being MCE certified is standard for all aircrews flying the MQ-1 and MQ-9, LR certification requires extra training.