The Predators are being flown by pilots of the Fargo-based North Dakota Air National Guard 119th Air Wing -- the "Happy Hooligans" -- a unit boasting over 60 years of experience flying fighter jets, most recently the F-16A Fighting Falcon. With the official retirement of the F-16A Falcon in June, the Happy Hooligans are enthusiastically applying their skill and experience to the Predator missions.
"It is exciting and rewarding to be a part of this mission that involves the global war on terrorism, homeland security and domestic contingencies," said Lt. Col. Rick Gibney, commander the Predator squadron, in an Aero-News Network interview.
Photo: MQ-1 Predator/Getty Images
Also See: Predator - Safely Behind the Lines