By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley) – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) congratulated the 163rd Air Reconnaissance Wing on the award of six new MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.
The MQ-9 aircraft will replace the MQ-1 aircraft currently stationed and maintained at the Southern California Logistics Airport – Victorville (SCLA). The recapitalization solidifies the mission of the 163rd Air Reconnaissance Wing. These new aircraft will also bring much needed jobs to the Victor Valley area. The Department of Defense is one of the largest regional employers in the Eighth Congressional District and this will keep it invested in the area and protect high paying jobs. The accompanying MQ-9 training program will make SCLA the only training base for MQ-9s in the western United States.
Said Cook, “I’m excited that the Logistics Airport in Victorville will be hosting these new military aircraft. I fought for this in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act because it will bring jobs and help the High Desert economy to grow. I believe that the talented men and women of the 163rd make Victorville the natural choice for the recapitalization of MQ-9s.”
San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood commented, “Our region has played a role in America’s defense since World War II and the creation of George Air Force Base. Today, General Atomics is located right here in the High Desert building the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles. So it is fitting that these MQ-9s will fly and be maintained right here at home.”
Major General David Baldwin, the Adjutant General of California said, “The protection of our men and women in harm’s way is paramount to our nation’s continued success, both here in California fighting fires and other disasters, and overseas in defense of our country. Representative Cook’s support for this vital, lifesaving air asset at Southern California Logistics Airport highlights his experience as a former Marine Colonel who knows that giving our men and women the tools they need for success is absolutely critical.”
A member of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.