174th Fighter Wing has multiple "Firsts" in NY State and ANG History

  • Published
  • By Capt. Anthony L. Bucci
  • 174FW/Public Affairs
When you do something first people will remember you for a long time, do something unique and you will be emblazed into history forever.

George Washington became the first President of the United in 1789. The Boston Americans won the first modern World Series in 1903 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon in 1969.

These famous firsts are significant to the fabric of our country's history and in 2011 the 174th Fighter Wing had 5 "Firsts' in New York and in Air National Guard history.

"We achieved some very significant firsts in 2011, specifically over the course of a one-month period, continuing in the very proud, illustrious history of the 174th Fighter Wing", said Lt. Col. D. Scott Brenton, 174FW Operations Group Commander.

October 18 marked the first time in New York history that the Air National Guard flew the MQ-9 Reaper over the skies of the Empire State. This flight was controlled by 174FW pilots and sensor operators while the aircraft circled the skies over Wheeler-Sack Army Air Field.

The unit followed up this accomplishment by successfully flying the MQ-9 Reaper from Hancock Field ANGB after receiving the hand-off from the crew at WSAAF. Additionally on the same day the 174FW remotely piloted an aircraft from Syracuse over airspace at Creech AFB, NV. A first for the Air National Guard in New York state history, the date was November 1.

"The ability to control aircraft at Wheeler-Sack Army Air Field and/or Creech AFB from Syracuse is extremely important for our training purposes in successfully flying the MQ-9 Reaper", said Brenton.

The 174FW followed up this staggering achievement by dropping their first GBU-12 bomb from a MQ-9 Reaper at their training space located on WSAAF. The training mission was deemed a success as the MQ-9 Reaper scored a direct hit on its ground target a disable tank used specifically for training purpose. This again was a first for the Air National Guard in New York State history and it happened on November 9.

"This drop was significant not only because it was successful, but it also allowed us to update some of our tactics and techniques", said Brenton. Brenton went on to say, "It was a successful drop because of the tremendous support we received from the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron airmen who were on the ground at WSAAF coordinating this successful training mission".

The training mission and famous "firsts" continued for the 174FW when they followed this successful drop up with the first successful flight of the MQ-9 Reaper by the Air National Guard over Lake Ontario. This successful first in the state of New York happened on November 22.

The "firsts" did not stop there for the 174FW because on November 28 the unit accepted the first 4 Air Combat Command gained students into their MQ-9 Reaper Formal Training Unit. This training program is designed to transition pilots from flying the MQ-1 Predator to the MQ-9 Reaper. This is the first and only FTU in the Air National Guard for the MQ-9 Reaper, which trains pilots and sensor operators on how to safely fly the MQ-9 Reaper.

The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset.

The MQ-1 Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude; long endurance RPA remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.

The GBU-12 PAVEWAY II is a laser-guided bomb it is an American aerial bomb, based on the Mk 82 500-pound general-purpose bomb, but with the addition of a nose-mounted laser seeker and fins for guidance.