The 489th Attack Squadron is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 432d Wing located at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. It is one of several squadrons that operate the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle, which is used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as for strike operations.
The 489th Attack Squadron was originally established as the 489th Bombardment Squadron in 1942 and saw action during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It was inactivated in 1989 and reactivated as the 489th Reconnaissance Squadron in 2006, operating the MQ-1 Predator. In 2011, the unit was redesignated as the 489th Attack Squadron and transitioned to the MQ-9 Reaper.
As an attack squadron, the 489th plays a critical role in supporting ground forces by providing persistent, armed ISR capabilities. The MQ-9 Reaper is equipped with a variety of weapons, including Hellfire missiles and GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs, which can be used to strike targets on the ground. The squadron also supports counterterrorism operations and provides real-time video feeds to ground forces, allowing them to make informed decisions.
In addition to its operational mission, the 489th Attack Squadron is also responsible for training MQ-9 crews for the entire Air Force. This includes pilots, sensor operators, and intelligence analysts, who are trained to operate the Reaper in a variety of missions, including ISR, close air support, and strike operations.
Overall, the 489th Attack Squadron plays a critical role in the Air Force's global mission, providing persistent, armed ISR capabilities and supporting ground forces in a variety of operations. Its skilled and dedicated personnel continue to make significant contributions to the nation's defense.