Two weeks after an MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed into Lake Ontario, the Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing has resumed remote training missions out of Fort Drum near Watertown.
The Commander of the 174th, Colonel Greg Semmel told reporters at a news conference at Hancock Air Base, "I am personally very confident in the safety of this airplane and I'm very confident in the pilots and sensor operators and the maintainers that operate it."
The decision to resume the training missions comes before the wreckage of the drone has been located, and before any official investigation has determined a cause for the crash.
The flights were suspended on November 12th after a Reaper drone which took off from an air field at Fort Drum, crashed into Lake Ontario about 20 miles north of the City of Oswego. The unmanned aircraft has not yet been recovered, but debris has washed up on shore in Jefferson County.
A Navy team based in Virginia is assisting in the search, while an Air Force investigation teams looks into the cause of the crash.
The 174th attack wing has an application before the Federal Aviation Administration to move the drones out of Fort Drum and have them fly out of Hancock Field. Colonel Semmel says the crash has not altered those plans.