110th Attack Wing Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House
By Tech. Sgt. Jason Boyd, 110th Attack Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 29, 2016
September 17, 2016 -- BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - On September 17, 2016 the Michigan Air National Guard's 110th Attack Wing had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the MQ-9 "Reaper" Squadron Operations Center (SOC), which will serve as the conduit and filter for information traversing to the Ground Control Station at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.
"The mission of 110th Attack Wing is key to defending America and our allies against evolving and emerging threats to our national security," said U.S. Senator Gary Peters, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. "With this new facility, the 110th Attack Wing will fully transition to a cutting-edge and in-demand remotely piloted aircraft mission that will begin reshaping our fighting forces for the future. The Battle Creek Air National Guard base is a great source of pride for the State of Michigan, and I'm honored to help celebrate this incredibly vital and forward-looking mission with some of our state's finest service members."
The wing's $6.4 million project allows for the remotely-piloted MQ-9 aircraft to be controlled from a Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in Battle Creek over combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-laser, convoy/raid over watch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance.
"The MQ-9 mission is the most joint, total-force platform in the United States Air Force," said Col. Bryan Teff, 110th Attack Wing Commander.
"Since 2014, our operators have flown over 5,050 mission in support of combat operations from various locations around the world," he said. "Forty of those missions were highly successful kinetic strikes in support of the combat commander in the theatre of combat operations."
Operators in the SOC are in direct, real-time contact with the pilot and sensor operator, providing them with mission-critical situational awareness information. While the RPA is piloted at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, none of them are actually stored at this location. This mission puts the 110th at the forefront of combat and homeland security operations around the world without placing its airmen in harm's way.
"This mission coming to Battle Creek wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the great reputation and the great leadership we have here at the 110th," said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, Commander, Michigan National Guard.
"The support we have gotten from the community has been great. They have really gotten behind the military that's based here and we appreciate the way they have embraced us, what a great community," said Vadnais.
The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons -- it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.
"This MQ-9 mission is going to be a significant contribution to world security," Senator Peters said.