Another First for the 174th Fighter Wing
By Capt. Anthony L. Bucci, 174FW/Public Affairs
/ Published September 25, 2009
Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY -- Hancock Field Air National Guard Base experienced yet another historic milestone in the unit's storied history as it inches even closer in its latest aircraft conversion process.
On the 24th of September the 174th Fighter Wing celebrated the first graduating class of the MQ-9 Ground Control Station Maintenance course conducted at the Field Training Detachment located on Hancock Field ANGB.
Technical Sgt. William Clochessy, Technical Sgt. Mark Raut, Technical Sgt. Steven Sobus and Staff Sgt. Shawn Badman have etched their names into the 174FW history books as the first graduating members of the MQ-9 Ground Control Station Maintenance course held at the 174FW.
"You have distinguished yourself today. It hasn't been easy stretching yourself, taking time away from your family and being the first class. The wing appreciates your hard work and dedication", said Col. Kevin W. Bradley, 174FW Commander.
This groundbreaking course started on the 13th of August and would provide four members of the 174th FW FTD the necessary maintenance skills pertaining to the MQ-9 Ground Control Station. Master Sgt. Dan Olmstead, 174FW FTD instructor taught these four individuals over this six-week course the maintenance principles that will allow these individuals to be MQ-9 GCS maintenance instructors themselves.
"This is a significant day in the wing's history. We are very proud of all of you and please thank your families for their support during this whole process. In fact without the support of your families this moment would not have been possible", said Senior Master Sgt. Tim Campbell, 174FW FTD Superintendent.
"Many 'Thanks' to everyone involved in the process of creating a world-class FTD facility and the graduation of the first MQ-9 FTD maintenance class here at the 174FW", sail Col. John M. Balbierer, 174FW Maintenance Group Commander.
This course will be one of several courses taught here at Hancock Field regarding the maintenance of the MQ-9 Reaper. Hancock Field Air National Guard Base is the only Field Training Detachment for the Maintenance of the MQ-9 Reaper. This FTD will provide MQ-9 Reaper maintenance training for all active-duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members.
The 174FW Formal Training Unit currently has 14 instructors, all of which are in various stages of completing their certification requirements.
The first Air National Guard-run Formal Training Unit class began March 16th 2009 at the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.