OSWEGO, NY – Congressman Dan Maffei joined 174th Attack Wing members on Wednesday afternoon to observe the MQ-9 Maritime Exercise and tour 174th Attack Wing’s Mobile Emergency Operations Center at Coast Guard Station Oswego.
Maffei was joined by Col. Greg Semmel and other members of the 174th Attack Wing.
“I was at the 174th a few months ago and they told me about an exercise that they were doing that I had not ever heard about. They are using their ‘drones’ in a civilian search and rescue scenario,” Maffei explained. “I thought that was fascinating. So for the last three days, they have been doing that.”
The 174th is working with the Coast Guard in Oswego, the Canadian Coast Guard and other civilian agencies, Maffei noted.
“It is really amazing what they are able to do with that level of cooperation,” he added.
In a time when budgets are “real tight,” you can see where something like this could mean real savings, he added.
If someone gets in trouble (in the water), like during the recent Harborfest celebration, he said by way of example, this group could respond quickly.
“Everybody talks about the drones, and they obviously have an important military use, but they have other uses,” he said. “Today, I wanted to see the National Guard use it as a support to the Coast Guard and other civilian organizations. It’s pretty impressive.”