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The 178th Wing Hosts Local Community Leaders

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jill Maynus

More than 100 state officials, military leaders, and other community members gathered at Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base, Monday, for a presentation on the current capabilities and mission of the 178th Wing.

During the event, special guests including Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general; Rob Rue, mayor of Springfield; Elaine Bryant, executive vice president for aerospace and defense at Dayton Development Coalition; Joseph Zeis Jr., state of Ohio aerospace and defense advisor; and Col. Kent Kazmaier, commander of the 178th Wing, spoke on the importance of military-civilian community partnerships.

“The guard has always been reliant and a part of our communities,” said Harris, “We couldn’t exist or do what we do without the support of our communities.”

Airmen assigned to the 178th Wing recently completed a historic landing of the MQ-9 Reaper using auto take-off and land technology, as part of exercise Advanced Wrath, a collaborative training exercise bringing together the 178th Wing; the 163rd Attack Wing, California; the 248th Air Traffic Control Squadron, Mississippi; the Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; and the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We see this as such an amazing partnership between the community and the guard base,” said Bryant, “we hope that others see this all across the state and continue to move Ohio forward.”

The MQ-9 Reaper is a Remotely Piloted Aircraft renowned for its broad capabilities in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Having the aircraft on base allows the 178th Airmen to utilize and sustain MQ-9 operations via satellite launch and recovery.

“This shows how we can do effective sense and avoid operations, perform operations beyond the line of sight of the drone aircraft from the actual controller, and make these missions viable,” said Zeis, “The guard is the cutting edge here and the implications are far beyond the military mission.”

The 178th Wing Operations Group invited the attendees to observe and learn about the MQ-9.

Bryant emphasized the growth and opportunities operations like Advanced Wrath have on not only the 178th Wing, but also the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence, a state-of-the-art collaboration space to aid in the advancement of Advanced Air Mobility technology.

“This is a model for the future quite frankly, for what we can do as a national guard,” said Harris, “It’s important for the community to see this and most importantly to me, to celebrate and recognize the great work that this wing has been doing for a long time.”