491st Attack Squadron assists in MQ-9 training mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isaiah Pedrazzini
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Located over 2,000 miles away in the beautiful city of Syracuse, New York, lies Hancock Field National Guard Base, which is home to the 491st Attack Squadron.

The 491st ATKS is a detachment of the 49th Wing and is responsible for supporting the wing’s mission in training and developing MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators.

“As a geographically separated unit of the 49th Wing, the members of the 491st ATKS support the 49th Wing’s mission no differently than the Airmen stationed at Holloman,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Trent Leeper, 491st ATKS commander. “We work each day towards our common goal of building combat aircrew and leading and developing Airmen.”

Along with supporting Holloman’s mission, the 491st ATKS assists in providing training to student pilots belonging to the 174th Attack Wing, the primary wing operating out of Hancock.

“The 491st ATKS and the members of the 174th Attack Wing have an incredible working relationship,” said Leeper. “Our members have seamlessly integrated into the wing and together we support the MQ-9 formal training mission.”

The 491st ATKS produces approximately 67 aircrew annually, building combat aircrew as the rest of the 49th Wing proudly does in Holloman Air Force Base, NM.

“I am truly blessed to work alongside the men and women of the 491st ATKS, as these are some of the most innovative and passionate individuals I know,” said Leeper. “The squadron has made a lasting impact in its short time, and I know the Airmen that follow us will continue its legacy of excellence.”