FORT CUSTER, MI (WKZO) -- Battle Creek’s Air National Guard base is about to become an airbase with no planes. Their new mission, to remotely control the MQ-9 “Reaper” drones will only involve piloting and controlling the planes from a distance.
It won’t require maintaining them, housing them or ever actually laying eyes on them. The actual planes will all be stationed at remote air bases in the world’s hot spots.
That means all the mechanics in Battle Creek will have to be retrained to either remotely fly the surveillance and armed killer drones, or maintain the communications and computer gear that keeps them flying.
Base Commander, Col. Ronald Wilson says they were hoping to acquire C-130’s, and still have real planes stationed at the base, and calls this a major disappointment.
He says they will just have to make the transition, calling it the wave of the future in aircraft technology.
The fact that the air base has hangers and sits next to an airport will be a curious artifact of history.