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British and German reporters visit Hancock Field

HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Syracuse, N.Y. -- New York Air National Guard 174th Attack Wing welcomed Mashable, a
British-American news website, technology and social media blog, and German
Public Television onto Hancock Field Air National Guard Base to answer questions
about the unit's mission.

The Syracuse based unit is the Air Force's premier training center for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), MQ-9
Reaper.
 
174th Commander, Col. Greg Semmel, answered interview questions
about day to day operations and the RPA training mission on Hancock Field. The
174th has a Field Training Detachment (FTD) which focuses on training
maintainers from active duty, reserve, national guard, and their Field
Training Unit (FTU) trains pilots and sensor operators.

Semmel described functionality of the MQ-9 as well as giving an inside look of a Ground
Control Station (GCS). The MQ-9 is part of a remotely piloted aircraft system.
A fully operational system consists of several sensor/weapon-equipped aircraft,
ground control station, Predator Primary Satellite Link, and spare
equipment along with operations and maintenance crews for deployed 24-hour
missions.

The reporters then visited the MQ-9 Reaper launch and recovery element
(LRE). The 174th LRE handles all takeoff and landing functions of MQ-9
training flights from Fort Drum Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield in Watertown, NY.
The LRE consists of a 14,600 square foot facility that includes a hanger,
administrative space and multiple classrooms.