Military drones piloted from Syracuse attack targets in Afghanistan. Griffis Airport in Rome has been tapped to test the safety of commercial drones. With little fanfare, upstate New York has become central to adaptation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Wednesday night, the controversy over drones came to Utica.
Twelve activists opposed to drone warfare are spending the next few weeks in an Onondaga County correctional facility. The sentencing capped off a month-long trial, with an admonition from a judge to avoid any more protests on Hancock Air Base property.
Video shot of the Hancock 17 war crimes protesters last October in front of Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, which houses the 174th Fighter Attack Wing, showed the protesters involved in some confrontations and near-miss traffic accidents. It was that video that prompted DeWitt Town Justice David Gideon to warn activists.
More than 200 National Guard members have been called on to help parts of New York dig out of the blizzard and frigid temperatures, but roll call was all volunteer.
Twenty members of the 174th Air National Guard Wing based in Syracuse signed up to bundle up and join units from Niagara Falls, Utica and Buffalo to respond to the blizzard that hit western and northern New York this week.
Rep. Dan Maffei observed a maritime exercise using unmanned aerial vehicles for civilian search and rescue in Oswego on Wednesday. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard participated in the training.
Maffei, D-Syracuse, says the UAVs, called MQ-9 Reapers, used in the training rescue missions could save more time, money and lives compared to the current search measures.