After 22 years of flying the F-16 from Hancock Field, the 174th Fighter Wing is in the process of converting to the remotely piloted aircraft MQ-9 Reaper.
"Thank You" to all the people who've supported us all these years. It's been a privilege to fly the F-16 here in Syracuse", said Lt. Col. Sean McQuaid one of the pilots who will perform the unit's last scheduled F-16 fly-by.
For many decades, the New York Air National Guard's 174th Fighter Wing has supported military fly-bys from the New York State Fair to this year's opening of the new Yankee Stadium. The 174th Fighter Wing will stop flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon the first week of March.
The 174th Fighter Wing was formed on October 28, 1947 as the first post World War II Air National Guard flying unit in New York State.
Through the unit's 60+ year history, it has flown the P-47D Thunderbolt, F-84B Thunderjet, F-86H Sabre Jet, A-10 Warthog and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
As of December 1st 2009, the unit was the first Air National Guard unit to fly continuous combat operations with the MQ-9 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.