926th Group gains new RPA squadron

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jessica Martin
  • 926th Group public affairs
A new Remotely Piloted Aircraft squadron activated here during a ceremony at the Holloman Desert Sands Club on Nov. 19.

The 429th Air Combat Training Squadron stood up as a geographically-separated unit under the 926th Group, which is headquartered at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

"Gaining the 429th ACTS highlights the Reserve Command's progression in the RPA enterprise, and our projected growth into a wing with a dedicated RPA Operations Group," said Col. John Breeden, 926th GP commander.

"We're excited to expand our mission and partnership with additional regular Air Force units across Air Combat Command through Total Force Integration," he said.

The 429th ACTS is a classic Reserve associate unit that supports three RegAF formal training squadrons with MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper Instructor Pilots, Sensor Operators and Mission Intelligence Coordinators.

"I'm humbled to lead such a talented group of Airmen," said Lt. Col. Brian Moles, 429th ACTS commander. "They are experts at what they do, and will no doubt continue to forge the way for RPA operations here."

Moles commissioned into the Air Force in 1988. He is a command pilot with more than 3,200 combined flying hours in the MQ-9, T-6, F-15S, F-15E, A-10A, AT-38B, OV-10A, T-38 and T-37 aircraft.

Before assuming command of the squadron, Moles led the unit as a detachment.
The 429th ACTS has a long history, dating back to 1917 when it was established as the Air Service 41st Aero Squadron at Camp Kelly, Texas, as an infantry and construction unit.

It was re-established as a pilot training squadron in 1922, providing basic flight training throughout the 1920s and early 1930s.

In 1935 it was reassigned to Langley Field, Va., and equipped with Martin B-10 Bombers, later receiving B-18 Bolos and B-17 Flying Fortress Bombers.

During World War II the squadron was assigned to antisubmarine duty over the Atlantic Coast after the Pearl Harbor attack. It then moved to Italy in 1943 to engage in long-range bombardment of strategic targets in Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania and Greece.

The squadron was deactivated in 1962 as part of President John F. Kennedy's draw down efforts.

It was reactivated in 2010 at Holloman AFB as Detachment 1, 44th Fighter Group, under the 301st Fighter Wing at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas, before transitioning under the 926th GP.

The 926th GP is a classic associate unit to both the United States Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB and the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Through TFI, it provides combat-ready citizen Airmen to the USAFWC and 432nd WG/AEW as sustained expertise integrated at the operational and tactical levels of warfare. It continuously conducts and supports combat operations, operational test and evaluation, tactics development, and advanced training.