New York Air National Guard Activates Central New York Reconnaissance Unit

ROME, NY (12/05/2008)(readMedia)-- The New York Air National Guard activated a new unit at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park today.

The 222nd Command and Control Squadron, composed of 80 full-time, and traditional Air Guardsmen will work for both the National Reconnaissance Office and the U.S. Air Force's Space Command.

The National Reconnaissance Office is a joint organization engaged in the research and development, acquisition, launch and operation of overhead reconnaissance systems necessary to meet the needs of the intelligence community and Department of Defense. The 222nd will support the National Reconnaissance Operation's Center, augmenting and strengthening the center's vital mission.

The 222nd will, additionally, assist U.S. Air Force's Space Command with ongoing space operations crucial to our national security.

Lt Col Timothy Lunderman, a veteran member of the New York Air National Guard, was appointed commander of 222nd.

"Since its creation, the National Reconnaissance Office has been in the forefront of national defense technology. Through the 222nd's involvement with the NRO, this important new unit will assume a vital role in helping to ensure the safety of our state and nation. We are pleased to welcome this newest NYANG component and thank the leadership and staff of the NRO and the people of the Rome area for the support that they have provided us in making this day possible," stated NYANG Commander Maj Gen Robert A. Knauff.

"Maintaining 24/7 space situational awareness is job number one for the National Reconnaissance Office Operations Center (NROC). The deployable manpower the New York Air National Guard provides through the 222d Command and Control Squadron, will ensure the NROC has properly trained and skilled personnel to meet the national security mission needs of today and the foreseeable future in peacetime and in crisis," said Col. Byron Clay the NROC Director.

"We are excited to see the official standup of the 222d and look forward to an enduring partnership focused on enhancing the operational capability of the NRO," Clay added.

While the headquarters of the 222nd is at the Air Force Research Lab in Rome, some members of the unit will work at the Chantilly, Virginia headquarters of the National Reconnaissance Office Operations Center. The squadron will be comprised of security personnel, communications experts, intelligence officers Space/Missile personnel and administrative personnel.

The unit is expected to reach full operational capability in 2011.