Fit to Fight: Armed with precision-guided bombs and missiles, the Reaper MQ-9 is the deadliest war drone yet. Here, it sits on the flight line at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Lance Cheung/U.S. Air Force Photo
Without traffic, it takes Captain Adam Brockshus about 45 minutes to drive from his four-bedroom suburban home outside Las Vegas to Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. His commute follows Highway 95 northwest through a stretch of the Mojave freckled with Joshua trees and flanked by arid mountain ranges. He trains pilots for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet this desolate drive may be the most harrowing part of his job.