Syracuse-based Air National Guard 174th Fighter Wing getting new name

The New York Air National Guard's Syracuse-based fighter wing is changing its name to reflect the unit's switch from flying fighter aircraft to operating remotely piloted drones.

National Guard officials say Wednesday that the 174th Fighter Wing will become the 174th Attack Wing in September.

The change comes nearly three years after the unit started operating MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft from its base at Syracuse's Hancock Field. The fighter wing launched its last flight of F-16 fighter aircraft in March 2010.

The New York unit will join three other Air Force squadrons which operate the MQ-9 and have already been designated as attack squadrons.

The 174th Fighter Wing was established in 1947 as the first Air National Guard flying unit in New York state. It currently flies unmanned aircraft in support of military operations in Afghanistan.