CONR Deputy Commander Visits the SCANG
By Senior Airman Ashleigh Pavelek, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 11, 2016
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
Canadian Forces Brig. Gen. Alain Pelletier, deputy commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region, flew with the South Carolina Air National Guard here and addressed the 169th Fighter Wing's role in the homeland defense mission, February 29 - March 1.
During his visit, Pelletier toured the base with U.S. Air Force Col. David Meyer, commander of the 169th FW, and Lt. Col. Ian Toogood, commander of 169th FW Aerospace Control Alert. The second day of his visit included an orientation flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 52 fighter jet.
"We were able to give him an orientation to the primary capability and mission of our F-16's, which is the Suppression and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses," said Meyer. "His visit to our alert site and the command post, along with the message he shared from the commander, Lt. Gen. William Etter, means a lot to our Airmen and their families that support them."
"Not only are we afforded the ability to hear their guidance and direction first hand, but this was a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with NORAD regional leadership. We were able to highlight our own unit-specific capabilities and challenges straight to the top," said Toogood. "It's a privilege to showcase how well our Airmen are prepared 24/7 to answer the call at literally a moment's notice."
Pelletier has flown an F-15 Eagle in the past, but most of his more than 3,500 flight hours have been achieved in an F-18 Hornet.
"I have always heard about the feeling of flying in an F-16. It is a dream come true to finally have my first ride in a Viper," said Pelletier.
As the CONR deputy commander, this orientation flight was important by offering Pelletier a firsthand, full-mission experience in the capabilities of the Swamp Fox F-16.
"The 169th Fighter Wing has proven itself as a premier flying unit while providing outstanding support to CONR during training exercises and other air defense activities," said Pelletier. "We at CONR are grateful for the 169th [Fighter Wing's] outstanding contribution to CONR's mission success and the strong partnership we have with the McEntire team."