(THE DAILY BEAST)
By Kevin Maurer
Anne crawled out of bed in her North Las Vegas house around 10 p.m. and started to get ready for her shift.
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She pulled her chestnut hair into a bun and slipped on her olive green flight suit. In the kitchen, she packed fruit to snack on during her shift and stuffed her schoolwork into her backpack-sized lunchbox just in case it’s a boring night. Most nights she doesn’t have a chance to open a book.
Giving her dog, a tan Sher-Pei/pit bull mix, one last pat, she left her house and joined thousands of other workers leaving for the midnight shift. Whi le most people were heading to hotels and casinos in town, Hubbard was on her way to Creech Air Force Base and a war. Anne, an Air Force staff sergeant, was—and still is—a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) sensor operator or “sensor.” At Creech, she is assigned to a reconnaissance squadron flying missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. Few weapons in the American arsenal are more relentless than the RPA fleet, often called drones. For more than a decade, the United States has flown RPAs over Afghanistan and Iraq, providing forces on the ground with an eye in the sky to spot terrorists and insurgents, and in most cases the firepower to destroy them.