PA Air National Guard to receive aircraft simulator at Pittsburgh ANGB
By Maj. Ed Shank, Pennsylvania Joint Force Headquarters
/ Published May 04, 2015
Pittsburgh, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 171st Air Refueling Wing, located at the Pittsburgh International Airport, has been chosen to receive a KC-135 flight simulator by the Air Force's Air Mobility Command.
The addition of the simulator, which was prompted by the Pease Air National Guard Base, NH unit's switch from KC-135 to KC-46A aircraft, is expected to not only enhance the capabilities of the 77 pilots and 33 boom operators currently serving with the unit, but also bring additional revenue to the Commonwealth as units from outside the area visit Pittsburgh to train.
"I'm very pleased that we have been chosen to receive this highly-coveted, state-of-the-art technology here in Pennsylvania," said Col. Edward E. Metzgar, Commander of the 171st ARW. "This move is a testament to the relevance of our wing and the nearly 1,300 Airmen who serve here."
The PA Air National Guard estimates that having a simulator in Pittsburgh will bring approximately 174 aircrew members to the area for a minimum of eight days each calendar year, thus increasing the potential business to hotels, restaurants, rental car companies and the like. The simulator addition will also generate local construction projects exceeding $2M.
The 171st ARW is one of three highly-specialized wings in the Commonwealth and the only "supertanker" wing in the entire Air National Guard. Combined, the PA Army and Air National Guard is the third largest in the country with nearly 20,000 Soldier and Airmen located at more than 80 armories and bases across Pennsylvania.