Arkansas Online:

By Eric Besson

Ebbing Air National Guard Base has transitioned away from fighter planes to remotely piloting drones, missile-carrying aircraft that can surveil and destroy the nation's enemies.

On Aug. 1, more than two years after the shift began, the base started operating under its new mission.

Remotely piloting an MQ-9 Reaper, a major weapon deployed against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, is one of three primary tasks. Most of the time, the pilot's job is to provide real-time images for analysts to study, but occasionally they strike, commanders said Thursday during a presentation to reporters.

"We basically deploy in place, and it's constant," said Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, who took command of the Air National Guard's 188th Wing in January 2015. "Right now, we do 24/7 combat missions every day."

Read more here.