SAN DIEGO – 16 December 2022 – The North Dakota Air National Guard’s 178th Attack Squadron (ATKS) was recognized as the General Atomics Remotely Piloted Aircraft Squadron of the Year at an event hosted by the Mitchell Institute on Dec. 9, 2022, at the Fargo Air Museum in Fargo, N.D. The award is given annually to the Squadron that distinguishes itself through its deployment of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in meritorious service. The 178th was selected from a field of more than 30 RPA squadrons and it’s the first time an ANG Squadron has received the award.
In 2021, the 178th Attack Squadron continued to solidify their position as the trail-blazing MQ-9 unit by leading in innovation, capabilities, and modernization. The “Happy Hooligans” have completed their unprecedented 15th straight year of 24/7/365 combat operations while supporting both U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command. They have distinguished themselves in current combat operations while advocating for MQ-9A relevancy in strategic competition.
Additionally, the Hooligans have accelerated change across the Joint Force via innovative Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) and live-fly MQ-9 training. Twenty-one supported units from each of the four services, operating in three different Combatant Commands, have partnered with the 178th to advance readiness and improve RPA employment. Furthermore, the Happy Hooligans are the enterprise leader as the producers of the most Live-fly Continuation Training. They have powered MQ-9 training and readiness programs for 10 different Operations Groups in the Air National Guard, Air Combat Command, and Air Force Special Operations Command.
“The 178th ATKS has made a significant impact on multiple areas of responsibility over the last few years, and especially this year,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “We’re proud of the 178th’s dedication and passion to improving MQ-9 operations and showcasing the MQ-9’s multi-role capabilities.”
The Happy Hooligan’s accomplishments, as they paved the way for future RPA capability, distinctly identify them as the U.S. Air Force’s most outstanding RPA squadron and demonstrate the great power of this nation with cutting-edge combat capabilities. The 178th Attack Squadron is a unit of the North Dakota ANG’s 119th Wing stationed at the Fargo, Hector IAP, N.D.
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than seven million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com
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