MQ-9 Reaper performs a historic multirole mission

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, armed with four GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition parks on a flightline before a mission on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe)

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, is piloted for a mission armed with Guided Bomb Unit-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe)

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, is piloted for a mission armed with Guided Bomb Unit-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe)

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, armed with four Guided Bomb Unit-38s parks on a flightline before a mission on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe)

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, armed with four GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition parks on a flightline before a mission on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe)

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, is piloted for a mission armed with Guided Bomb Unit-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe)

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- U.S. MQ-9 Reaper performed a historic multirole mission in the deliberate air campaign against Taliban revenue sources, releasing four 500 pound precision guided munitions from a single Reaper, effectively destroying a Taliban narcotics facility in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Feb 22. In a new approach, MQ-9s are being tasked in a multirole capacity, to include executing deliberate strikes, armed over watch or close air support missions, and then flex to an ISR tasking - all in a single mission. This approach offers planners greater flexibility in choosing the optimal strike capability from a variety of manned and unmanned aircraft supporting operations, including F-16s, B-52s, A-10s and MQ-9s.