Air Force will station new Reaper drones at Syracuse Hancock Field

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Air Force has decided to expand its squadron of MQ-9 Reaper drones based at the home of the 174th Attack Wing at Syracuse’s Hancock Field.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson approved sending an extra four aircraft, two mobile ground control stations and new training equipment to the New York Air National Guard base.

The new drones and equipment are expected to arrive as early as this month, according to U.S. Rep. John Katko, whose office was informed of the decision by Air Force officials on Thursday.

Air Force officials told Katko that the new aircraft and equipment will allow the base to almost double the number of Reaper drone pilots and sensor operators trained at Hancock Field from 45 to 85 per year.

The Air Force will spend $23.7 million combined for the upgrades at Hancock Field and March

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