Work Starts on New Predator Hangar for California Unit

The California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing at March Air Reserve Base has broken ground on a new remotely piloted aircraft hangar at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville. It is the Air Guard’s first-ever hanger designed specifically for RPAs. The multi-million dollar building will support the wing’s Predator formal training unit, which instructs Air Force RPA aircrews. “This is a great day for the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing,” said Maj. Gen. Dennis Lucas, California ANG commander, during the Aug. 24 groundbreaking ceremony. Currently, the wing’s Predators are launched and recovered from a temporary facility at SCLA, which is about 70 miles north of March. Student pilots at March control the Predators after launch and before landing. The wing has been operating Predators since 2006 in combat and, more recently, also for training purposes. Earlier this month, it surpassed 50,000 total flying hours. (March report by SSgt. Paul Duquette)