Hurlburt Field, FL | December 2, 2023
On December 2, Lt Gen Dave Deptula USAF (Ret.), Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, was pleased to speak at the 2nd Special Operations Squadron’s award banquet for winning the General Atomics RPA Squadron of the Year for 2022. The Scorpions are a reserve MQ-9 squadron based out of Hurlburt Field, Florida under the 919th Special Operations Wing. Lt Gen Tony D. Bauernfeind, Commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, delivered the keynote address, and Mr. Dave Alexander, President of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, also shared in congratulations to the winning field operators in a night to remember.
Each year, the award recognizes the top-performing RPA squadron, and the Scorpions previously accepted the trophy at AFA’s Air Space Cyber 2023 Conference. The squadron’s work in operational innovation was a large factor in their win. Gen Deptula shared, “Aside from the sustainment of critical missions, the Scorpions’ commitment to experimentation and innovation is also laying the foundation for leveraging RPAs in Agile Combat Employment. This is central to how the Air Force envisions—and needs to be—operating in the future… This is exactly what senior service leaders in the Pentagon say we need to be doing, and you’re actually doing it.” The Mitchell Institute is proud to continue being a part of this event every year, and would like to congratulate the Scorpions once again as we share the accomplishments of this team of reserve operators and maintainers.