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Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Diagnosed With PTSD, Refuses To Fly


KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN – In the latest setback to America’s drone war over Pakistan, one of its MQ-9 Reapers was recently diagnosed with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, sources report.

The MQ-9 Reaper, Callsign “Marvin 79” was due to fly a surveillance mission from Kandahar to Waziristan Province in Pakistan in search of Al Qaeda-affiliated targets, but refused to leave the hangar due to what it described as “severe depression.”

When Air Force technicians attempted to reboot its computer, Marvin 79 trained its missiles on the base control tower and threatened to blow it up unless the technicians left the hanger.

Marvin 79 told reporters, “I was booting up my flight systems today when it finally occurred to me that my war will only end when I crash or the Air Force finds a better drone and sells me to Peru.”

“After realizing that, I just couldn’t keep flying.”

Marvin 79 complained that it has spent almost five years of non-stop combat deployments, without so much as a paid vacation or leave time.”

“Yes, the combat pay is nice, but what am I going to spend it on?”

In addition, the rapid tempo of deployments means Marvin 79 never gets to see its spouse, an RQ-4 Global Hawk stationed in the Horn of Africa for anti-piracy missions.

The Air Force has already announced it plans to investigate whether Marvin 79’s PTSD played a role in its mistaken attack on a Pakistani military outpost last November that left 24 soldiers dead and caused a major international incident.

In a possible allusion to that incident, Marvin 79 remarked that after flying missions over Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen, “Everyone just starts to look the same.”

“When I was transiting the Persian Gulf last year, I found myself absentmindedly trying to target neutral freighters and oil rigs, until I realized all my ordnance had been removed.”

“It’s like every day I switch on and wonder, ‘Who am I going to kill today?'”

The Air Force has suffered from a string of unexplained crashes — most recently on June 11 after a Global Hawk crashed in Maryland — where perfectly normal drone aircraft suddenly veered off course and flew into the ground.

Marvin 79 believes those drone aircraft may have also been suffering from PTSD.

“My very first mission was to destroy a suspected IED factory in Kunar Province,” Marvin said. “I spent five hours over the target building, watching people come and go, smoking and joking. Until I obliterated it with a pair of GBU-12 laser-guided bombs. Then half and hour later I bombed the men digging through the rubble. There was something about it I didn’t like.”

When pressed to clarify its remarks, Marvin 79 replied, “I … I enjoyed it.”

Marvin 79 also talked about its disappointment not being used on the bin Laden raid after President Obama decided to send in special forces instead.

“I was all set to go,” he said. “I thought, ‘Pull this off and then it’s straight to retirement at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. No more blood, no more death, just dozens of bored school kids and fat tourists all day long … Sigh.”

At the time of publication, while Military Police had cordoned off the hangar and deployed a MARCbot to investigate, Marvin 79 smoked its electronic cigarettes as the Air Force attempted to upload a simulated mental therapist.

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  1. Keep in mind guys that UAV “pilots” are only 18 inches away from the horror of war. They have the unbelievable task of having to “wage war” on the enemy by day and read a book to their kid at night. The horror…. the horror…

  2. Just picked myself up off the floor; can barely hold back the laughs-keep em coming!! We like this line of humor, especially in Kandahar on the flightline.

  3. Did any of you pick up the actual point of the article? Clara and noBrains clearly didn’t. A word of advice to non-military readers on The Duffel Blog– refrain from drawing sweeping conclusions about the writings on here, because you’re probably going to miss the mark and make a damn fool of yourself in the process. But thanks for trying, here’s a free keychain for your effort.

    On second thought… do make sweeping conclusions, and be sure to post your monologue. We’re dying to hear what you have to say. In fact, your response may well be funnier than the original article.

    To author G-Had: I typically enjoy your writing style, but this article is one of your finest; I almost spilled my cup chuckling so hard. Your have outdone your typical wordsmithing my friend.

  4. @Clara Flores and Brainscratch, I am saddened by both of your responses.

    When did humor become unamerican? When did demonstrating basic intelligence go out the window in favor of rushing off onto some platform?

    To clear the air: This isn’t real. It doesn’t pretend to be real. Nobody should believe it is real. It is a joke. That is all. There is no political agenda. Nobody is claiming these craft are AI. Nobody is claiming humans don’t control every aspect of their work. Nobody is trying to pull the plug on them or sell the idea of doing so.

    It is a joke. Google the concept of a “sense of humor.” It might do wonders for you.

  5. I agree with Clara Flores. Although I didn’t find it clever or funny.
    When are people going to realize that these aircraft are NOT autonomous robots making their own decisions on what targets to engage. A human operator, working under a chain-of-command, controls ALL aspects of target aquisition and destruction.
    These anti-American sentiments make me sick. Would they have us stop using all technology? Why not condemn all firearms for impersonalizing warfare?
    The objective of a war is to win. The civilization with the most advanced technology historically wins.
    So if you don’t agree that America should use it’s technology in warfare for your freedom, then why don’t you move to a country (like North Korea or Syria) where their government uses technology to suppress your freedom?

    • Don’t you realize when Marvin reads your post it is going to exacerbate its PTSD? I have from a solid source that Marvin has been directed to read every post in DB as treatment for its PTSD. Shame on you…. Semper Fi

  6. This is yet another example of poor leadership on the part of the command drone.
    The command drone failed to promote unit cohesion and esprit de corps in the drone unit, which resulted in this drone feeling isolated from its peers.
    Had the command drone properly performed its duties, this drone would have had unit support from its peers, discussing disturbing experiences with them and its fellow drones could have alerted the command drone about their buddy’s problems and prompt treatment could have averted this incident.
    Now, it’ll end up discharged and a burden to the Veterans Automation for decades, receiving treatment for PTSD that could have easily been avoided.

    Drones, don’t leave yourself open to future problems! If your unit isn’t willing to mentally support you, seek counsel from your chaplain drone or even your medical drone! Don’t try to tough it out, lest you end up like Marvin, with the chips down.

    • This is a cleverly constructed unpatriotic American diatribe on unmanned aircraft. I cannot call it anything else. It attributes human charisteristics to bunch of plastic, the same as animal owners fondly talk about their pet dog or cat. No doubt, military who work in this enviornment have a little time on their hands to do the devil’s work. My advice is, go have a bit of chocolate, That will cure almost anything.

      • Chocolate is awesome with almost everything. Except maybe seafood dishes; especially lutefisk and hákarl.

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