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Air Guard unit OK'd to fly Reapers in Syracuse area

Aug. 5, 2013 - 08:13AM   |  
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The commander of the Air National Guard unit that operates remotely piloted drones from its central New York base is holding a news conference to discuss the expansion of the airspace in which it operates.

Col. Greg Semmel of the Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing will talk to the media late Monday morning at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.

National Guard officials say the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the wing to operate MQ-9 Reapers in airspace south of Fort Drum in the Syracuse region.

The 174th switched three years ago from flying F-16 fighter jets to operating unmanned aircraft from Hancock Field. The drones operated from the Syracuse base support military operations in Afghanistan.

The unit conducts training exercises at Fort Drum, 70 miles north of Syracuse.

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