Defense

March 20, 2013

Air Force selects Pennsylvania Guard wing for new high-tech mission

The U.S. Air Force has chosen the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, located in Horsham, Penn., to take on a new remotely piloted aircraft mission.

The National Guard Bureau has authorized the wing to establish a ground-control station for the MQ-9 Reaper at Horsham Air Guard Base effective Oct. 1, 2013.

“This is an exciting time for our wing, and our Airmen are energized to embrace this new mission,” Col. Howard “Chip” Eissler, commander of the 111th Fighter Wing said. “I’m proud to see that the Air Force recognizes our wing’s capabilities, strategic location and our diversely talented members. The composition, operational tempo and infrastructure of our unit will increase as we prepare to take on this new challenge of housing a high-tech ground control station right here in Horsham.”

Nearly 250 jobs, approximately 75 of which are full-time positions, will be added to the wing to support this new mission.

“This is great news for Pennsylvania, especially when you consider the government cutbacks nationwide,” Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general said. “We are fortunate that Governor Tom Corbett and local, state and federal elected officials were able to help secure such a major military and economic victory for Pennsylvania.”

The MQ-9 Reaper will be controlled from a virtual cockpit on the installation by a two-person team consisting of a pilot and a sensor operator. The actual aircraft will not be located on the base.

“Airmen on the ground here will soon be behind the controls of a remotely piloted aircraft being flown in locations far from home,” said Eissler. “While the MQ-9 will be a significant platform change from the A-10 Thunderbolt II that we flew for years, the mission will be nothing new for the pilots of the 111th. We have been overseas multiple times in our A-10s, now we’ll be flying overseas missions from Horsham.”

Pennsylvania Air National Guard recruiting superintendent, Senior Master Sgt. Matt Giacobbe, said a robust recruiting effort is required to put people in these cutting-edge positions.

“The Pennsylvania Air National Guard recruits individuals with a diverse set of skills and offers tangible benefits for their service, especially in their pursuit of their higher education,” Giacobbe said. “We’re specifically seeking current or former military aviators, but are looking forward to recruiting and training a variety of individuals to fill positions related to this new mission in Horsham.”

The 111th Fighter Wing has a long history beginning with the establishment of the 103rd Observation Squadron in June 1924 on the sod fields of Philadelphia Airport as a unit in the U.S. Army’s 28th Infantry Division. In 1963, the 111th ended its 39-year history at the Philadelphia Airport and moved to its present location in Horsham. The highly decorated unit has supported numerous overseas operations since 1995 to include operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>