Photo by Charles Wainwright

James T. Walsh


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Hancock Field


Picture of a fighter on the runway at Hancock Field.

Photo by Stephen D. Cannerelli.

Hancock Field Air National Guard base, which coexists with Syracuse Hancock International Airport, has been an important part of the Syracuse area. It is located approximately 4 miles northeast of Syracuse, New York. During the World War II the base was used as a training, storage and staging facility. It has remained as an active military base since that time. Currently, the 174th Fighter Wing of the New York Air National Guard is located at the base where they fly MQ-9 Reaper drones. To learn more about the history of the base, you can visit the Hancock Field page of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport website.

During his tenure in Congress, James T. Walsh worked to provide funding and keep Hancock Field active. He appropriated funding for the base as well as was active in the process that saw the F-16s leave the base with MQ-Reaper drones replacing them. Walsh fought to ensure that the commitments that were made to allow the MQ-9 Reaper drones to come to Hancock were not dropped. The files on this process and other work Walsh did to aid the Hancock Field can be found in Series 7, Box 20 (Han-Hot) of the Walsh collection.

Lt. Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. visited Hancock Field ANGB on Wednesday the 17th of December to discuss the unit's future in being the first Air National Guard unit to have the MQ-9 Reaper


Photo of the MQ - 9 Reaper

MQ - 9: was built for increased lethality. Its main purposes is to find, fix, track, engage, and assess; prosecute critical emerging time sensitive targets; radar - based targeting with organic hard - kill capability; secondary role of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance. The missions that the MQ - 9 is capable of performing is strategic and tactical strike, interdirection, close air support, combat search and rescue, and joint marine operations.

The following links are some interesting bits and pieces that can be found in the Hancock files of the Walsh collection.

- Letter from Michael Wynne (Secretary of the Air Force) to Walsh, written by Michael Wynne regarding the status of the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock Field Air National Base. Walsh wanted to replace the F - 16 with the MQ - 9 Predator B. The Air Force is committed to helping Hancock Field Air National Base to address the challenges of the 21st century.

- Day Plan for the Visit by Michael Wynne, Friday February 24, 2006

- Letter to Congressman Walsh from Secretary Wynne in response to the above letter, Walsh is thanking Wynne for his visit to Hancock and is discussing what is mentioned in the above letter about the progress that is being made on the replacement of the F- 16 with the MQ - 9.

 - Hancock field MQ - 1 Role , describes the uses for the first of the fighter jets which were stored at Hancock Air Force Base.

 - Hancock field MQ - 9 Role, describes the uses for the larger and more lethal fighter jets which were stored at Hancock Air Force Base.

 - MQ - 1 and MQ - 9 Capibilities, describes the functions for both the MQ - 1 and the MQ - 9.

Created by Anthony DePrimo for History 419


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