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174th Attack Wing continues to set mile marks

Members from the 174th Attack Wing load onto an aircraft in January as they prepare to deploy from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Members from the 174th Attack Wing load onto an aircraft in January as they prepare to deploy from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Airmen load cargo onto an aircraft in preparation for the 174th Attack Wing's deployment from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in January, 2016. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Airmen load cargo onto an aircraft in preparation for the 174th Attack Wing's deployment from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in January, 2016. (Courtesy photo/Released)

HANCOCK AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In January, members of the 174th Maintenance Group departed Hancock Air National Guard Base, marking the first Air National Guard MQ-9 Reaper maintenance deployment.

Prior to this deployment, no other Air National Guard unit has had the sole responsibility of running a launch and recovery element overseas.

"The 174th is leading the way and adding to our national security," Col. Greg Semmel, 174th Attack Wing commander said regarding this deployment.

Throughout the duration of the deployment, the unit will be responsible for ensuring the deployed MQ-9s are fully maintained and prepared to perform their mission.

The successful deployment of the unit relied heavily on the support of the 174th Logistic Readiness Squadron and members from the 109th Airlift Wing and 105th Airlift Wing. These Airmen were instrumental in helping prepare the cargo and equipment for the deployment.

"We could not make it all happen without volunteers serving multiple roles from every organization on the base, as well as others outside the unit that assisted us in the process," said 1st Lt. Kevin, installation deployment officer.

This deployment took months of preparation on Airmen throughout the wing, but their efforts proved to be rewarding.

"It was very excited to see all the many hours of hard work and dedication come to fruition," Kevin said. "Seeing everything and everyone loaded on the aircraft fully is the end goal and everything else that happens in between, good and bad, is purely a learning lesson and gives us all an opportunity to learn and improve for the future."