The New York Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing conducted the unit's first operation of an MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) on the ramp of Hancock Field International Airport.
The 174th welcomed members of the news media to view the operation and speak with wing commander Col. Greg Semmel about future MQ-9 flights in Central New York. Following Col. Semmel's remarks the 174th performed its first taxi of the MQ-9 Reaper on Hancock Field.
The Commander of the New York Air National Guard, Major General Johnston,
first spoke to members of the media about the 174th mission and it's impact on
the Central New York area. General Johnston is responsible for the combat
readiness of five New York Air Wings and the Eastern Air Defense.
Currently, all flight operations of the MQ-9 aircraft are conducted at Wheeler
Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum Watertown, NY. The taxi operation in Syracuse
is one further step towards the launch and recovery of MQ-9 aircraft at
Hancock Field. The FAA modified airspace around Hancock Field in 2013 to
expand available training areas and provide transition from high altitude down
to Hancock Field. It is expected that the FAA will ultimately approve for the
departure and return of MQ-9 aircraft from Hancock Field to fly to Fort Drum
or transition to the area's restricted airspace for military training.
The 174th Attack Wing was established in 1947 as the first Air National Guard
flying unit in New York State. It currently flies the MQ-9 Reaper Remotely
Piloted Aircraft in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The wing also
trains all MQ-9 maintenance technicians for the Air Force, Air National Guard
and Air Force Reserve as well as training some personnel from allied nations.
The wing also conducts qualification training for MQ-9 pilots and sensor
operators at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base and Fort Drum, operating
out of Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.
At the same time the wing deploys members oversees to support MQ-9 operations
and other Air Force commitments and operates MQ-9s in the Central Command area
of operations from a facility at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base.
The wing also maintains the air-to-ground gunnery range at Fort Drum which is
used by Air Force, Air Guard and Air Force Reserve units across the northeast
and provides forces to respond to state emergencies at the direction of the
(Official U.S. Airforce video by Master Sgt. Eric Miller).
Eric Miller, MSgt, NYANG
174th Attack Wing
Public Affairs, Broadcast Journalist
Comm 315-233-2651 DSN 223-2651
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This work, New York Air Guard Unit Reaches Milestone With Remotely Piloted Aircraft, by MSgt Eric Miller, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.