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Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs visits Hancock Field ANGB

  • Published
  • By Capt. Anthony L. Bucci
  • 174FW PAO

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force visited Hancock Field Air National Guard base to discuss the unit's future mission. 

Lt. Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. visited Hancock Field ANGB on Wednesday the 17th of December to discuss the unit's future in being the first Air National Guard unit to have the MQ-9 Reaper. 

The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long endurance unmanned aircraft system. The MQ-9's primary mission is as a persistent hunter-killer against emerging targets to achieve joint force commander objectives. The MQ-9's alternate mission is to act as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset, employing sensors to provide real-time data to commanders and intelligence specialists at all levels. 

Lt. Gen. Johns' explained to the unit that he is committed to Total Force Integration and managing the change that comes with it. 

"We have two groups of people who think about these issues. The first goes to bed at night wondering 'What is the future of the Air Force?' the second wakes up and says 'How are we going to pay for it?'" said Johns. 

He spoke to the men and women of Hancock Field Air National Guard Base for about 45 minutes about their future and their important part of the Total Force Integration plan. The general said the objective of Global Vigilance is changing and the Air Force needs to adjust its focus in order to meet the challenges of the future. He praised the unit for being well positioned to take on the new mission of the MQ-9 Reaper as it heads into the 21st century. 

"The 174th FW is uniquely qualified to take on this new challenge, in fact this challenge is something that I know you all accept willingly," said Johns. 

Lt. Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. is Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. General Johns develops, integrates, evaluates and analyzes the U.S. Air Force Future Years Defense Program that exceeds $822 billion, and the Air Force Long-Range Plan to support national security objectives and military strategy. The general is responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff. 

The 174th Fighter Wing was formed on October 28, 1947 as the 138th Fighter Squadron (FS). The 138th FS was the first post-WWII Air National Guard flying unit in New York State. This will be the 174th FW's sixth aircraft conversion since its inception.