Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle joined Brigadier General Anthony German, Chief of Staff of the New York Air National Guard, and Colonel Kevin Bradley, Commander of the 174th Fighter Wing, in opening Hancock Field Air National Guard Base's Joint Deployment Health and Wellness Center.
The purpose of establishing the Joint Deployment Health and Wellness Center is to take the already existing services on Hancock Field and create a "one-stop" facility that addresses the physical, psychological, spiritual, and family needs of airmen, soldiers, and their families. The center is co-located with the Deployment Processing Center and provides a consolidated area for deployment services while addressing the health and wellness of service members across all dimensions of wellness.
"I was pleased to join Brigadier General German, Colonel Bradley and members of the New York Air National Guard, in celebrating the opening of the Joint Deployment Health and Wellness Center," said Rep. Buerkle.
"Having a wellness center of this nature is essential in ensuring that our men and women in uniform and their families get the assistance they need. We all depend on the bravery and sacrifices of our service members and I am pleased that this center will provide support which they can depend on."
During her visit, Congresswoman Buerkle also toured the base's Reaper Operations Center. "The reaper technology being used at the 174th allows our warfighters to control operations from a remote location, which helps protect the safety of our service men and women," said Rep. Buerkle.
"Our troops sacrifice a great deal for the security of our country and preservation of our freedoms. It is essential we provide them with the tools to be successful and to stay protected in the line of duty, and I fully support this mission."
The Reaper Operations Center serves as a command control hub for operating unmanned aerial MQ-9 reaper drones operating missions in Afghanistan. The MQ-9 is launched by a ground crew and then turned over to a flight crew who operate it via satellite from the Reaper Operations Center.