NY Air Guard unit completes drone combat mission

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York-based Air National Guard unit that has made the shift from flying manned aircraft to operating remotely piloted drones has completed its first operational mission overseas without the help of other U.S. air units.

The New York National Guard says the MQ-9 Reaper missions were flown last month by the 107th Airlift Wing during a deployment to Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. Twenty-three members of the 107th participated in the three-day mission.

National Guard officials say the location where the flights took place is classified.

It's the first remotely piloted combat air patrols the unit has launched without the assistance of other Air Force or Air Guard units.

The 107th will eventually operate the missions from their base in Niagara Falls.

The unit took on the Reaper missions in April 2014.

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