The 119th Wing, also known as the Happy Hooligans, recently completed a first of its kind exercise, partnering with the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Wing for Exercise Hawkeye Fury, Des Moines, Iowa Sept. 11 to 26, 2022. (National Guard story and photos by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Knodle, 119th Wing Public Affairs)
The exercise focused on the ability for the Hooligans to set up two MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), ground control station (GCS) and personnel to a deployed location and for the 132nd Wing to effectively utilize the MQ-9 in support of state and local government emergency response efforts.
The 132nd Wing, while operating an MQ-9 mission, has none of these aircraft at their National Guard base. This exercise was an opportunity to have this remotely piloted aircraft operate on their flightline and for Airmen to see them employed in person.
Another aspect of this exercise is to further develop partnerships between the different units and to work jointly with other Department of Defense (DoD) partners to operate the aircraft locally and showcase the potential of the MQ-9 to assist with local domestic operations (DOMOPS).
The Hooligan Airmen benefited from the opportunity to practice Agile Combat Employment (ACE) skills, packing up personnel and equipment, deploying to another base and providing launch and recovery for two MQ-9 aircraft each day.
Partnerships like this make the Happy Hooligans a leader in providing training opportunities for the entire Air National Guard RPA enterprise.Photo 1: 119th Wing Launch and Recovery Element crew chiefs recover an MQ-9 Reaper after a mission in support of Exercise Hawkeye Fury at the Iowa National Guard base, Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 20, 2022.
Article reprinted with permission from the NDNG.