SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The New York Air National Guard unit that flies remotely piloted aircraft overseas for the U.S. military will conduct its first drone operation from its home base outside Syracuse.
National Guard officials say the 174th Attack Wing will launch and recover an MQ-9 Reaper for the first time Wednesday afternoon at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base and Syracuse Hancock International Airport.
Until now, the unit had been conducting all its drone flight operations at Wheeler Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum in northern New York.
The 174th traded in its fighter jets for drones a few years ago. National Guard officials say the unit will be the first Air Force organization in the U.S. to fly drones in class "C'' airspace, the common airspace around commercial airports.