174th Fighter Wing Becoming 174th Attack Wing
By Maj. Jeffrey D. Brown, 174th Fighter Wing
/ Published July 26, 2012
Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York -- The New York Air National Guard's 174th Fighter Wing will become the 174th Attack Wing on Sept. 9, 2012.
The new name for the historic unit reflects the change of mission from flying fighter aircraft to operating the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft, which the wing has done since December 2009.
The new designation was requested by unit leadership shortly after the unit ended its F-16 Fighting Falcon mission with the last F-16 departing Syracuse in March 2010.
"When we ended our proud 60-year history of flying fighter aircraft, it was decided to request a change in our designation to more closely align with our new mission," said Col. Greg Semmel, 174th Fighter Wing Commander. "We selected the 'Attack' designation because it mirrors the organization nomenclature already used by all three Air Force active duty MQ-9 squadrons."
Along with the change in name of the wing, the 138th Fighter Squadron, a sub-organization under the wing which operates the MQ-9 combat mission, is changing its name to the 138th Attack Squadron.
Currently, three other Air Force squadrons which operate the MQ-9 have already been designated as attack squadrons. Importantly, the 174th Fighter Wing and 138th Fighter Squadron will retain their history and lineage after redesignation.
The wing is working on a redesign its unit patch reflecting the name change which will be submitted to the Institute of Heraldry, which provides insignia to all branches of the military, for approval.
The 174th Fighter Wing was established in 1947 as the first Air National Guard flying unit in New York State. It currently flies the state-of-the-art MQ-9 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The newly designated 174th Attack Wing will continue its combat mission as well as its multiple training missions, including operating the Field Training Detachment (FTD) which trains all Air Force personnel on MQ-9 maintenance procedures, and the Formal Training Unit (FTU) which provides initial qualification training to MQ-9 aircrew.
There will be a ceremony at Hancock Field commemorating the name change on September 9th.