Air Guard Wing uses Sniper in Combat

The South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire JNGB, S.C., has become the first Air Guard unit to use Lockheed Martin’s Sniper targeting pod in combat, according to the company. During a four-month deployment to Iraq earlier this year, the wing’s F-16 Block 50 aircraft employed the Sniper in non-traditional intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance roles, relaying high-resolution streaming video to ground troops, stated Lockheed in a release. “The Sniper pod did exactly what we needed it to do,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Williams, 169th FW commander. With it, the F-16 pilots were able to help determine the source of mortar attacks and track enemy combatants in cluttered environments. Using Sniper, they also protected troops at forward refueling points, according to the company. (See also Air Force Sniper Pods Get Upgrade)