Hancock Field Gets Reaper Schoolhouse

The New York Air National Guard’s 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock Field in Syracuse will host a schoolhouse for MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators, announced Air Force officials Thursday. The MQ-9 formal training unit will add 44 full-time personnel and five contractors to Hancock Field, they said. The wing already operates the remotely piloted MQ-9s in combat over Afghanistan, from Syracuse, and it trains MQ-9 maintenance personnel from across the active duty component, Air Guard, and Air Force Reserve. The new schoolhouse will instruct MQ-9 operators from across those three components, too. “The addition of the pilot training mission is a natural extension of our MQ-9 Field Training Detachment which has been active since October 2009,” said Col. Kevin Bradley, 174th FW commander. Wing officials have said MQ-9 training flights would take place over the Adirondack Mountains in northeastern New York.