For the first time in U.S. Air Force history an expeditionary U-2
serving in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command has reached 30,000
hours of flight time while supporting theatre operation from an
undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft was launched
today from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing and successfully
completed the milestone at 4:26 a.m. EST on February 2, 2017 ...
while collecting critical, real-time information to give commanders
the decisional advantage.
February 2, 2017 - 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
U-2 Maintainers and 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron
Airmen gather for a group photo at an undisclosed location in
Southwest Asia. After the U-2 airframe surpassed 30,000 hours of
flight several members autographed the mural created for the
achievement. The historic U-2 has been in operation since the 1960s
and continues its legacy in Combined Joint Task Force-Operation
Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)
99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron U-2 pilot Maj. Ryan
piloted the U-2 during the achievement.
“It takes a lot of
people to launch and recover a jet and to keep this going,” Ryan
said. “It’s always been my dream to be an Air Force pilot, so to be
a part of something like this is just baffling to me. Today we hit
30,000 hours. I hope it gets 30,000 more.”
380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant
maintenance operations officer, shared the importance of this
“The mere fact alone that we're able to
continue flying this aircraft to this day is an achievement in
itself, let alone fly 30,000 hours on one aircraft,” Lacey said.
“Maintaining the U-2 is often a difficult task requiring maintainers
from many specialties. It takes an entire team of skill and
dedication to do what these Airmen do every day. They're so good at
what they do; they make it look a lot easier than it actually is.
These types of milestones are what make us the best Air Force in the
The daily sorties flown by the U-2 have directly impacted the
fight against ISIS by gathering information used to disrupt revenue
streams and create organizational dysfunction. To date, Coalition
backed Iraqi forces have liberated more than 50% of their territory
February 10, 2017 - A 380th Air Expeditionary Wing U-2 Dragon Lady
launches from an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The U-2
airframe reached 30,000 flight hours during a flight on February 2,
2017. This is the second U-2 to reach this milestone out of the U-2
fleet. However, this achievement was the first while serving Air
Force Central Command in an expeditionary environment. The historic
U-2 has been in operation since the 1960s and continues its legacy
in Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)
“The accomplishment of the U-2 flying 30,000 hours is
extraordinary because the airframe itself is 48 years old
and it is flying with the most technologically advanced ISR
systems available today,” Senior Master Sgt. Duane said, 380
EAMXS U-2 maintenance superintendent. “Our maintainers are
proud to be part of such a unique history and magnificent
In 2016, a U-2 with the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron at
Osan Air Force Base, Republic of Korea, completed 30,000
flight hours as the first ever in the U.S. fleet.
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Tyler Woodward
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