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Biddle ANG Base hosts Congressional Delegation

A civilian is shown the controls on a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Simulator.

State Representative Todd Stephens, a member of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives from District 151, tries his hand at flying in a declassified version of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Simulator with assistance from U.S. Air National Guard Maj. Tom, a pilot with the 111th Operations Support Squadron headquartered at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, during a tour of the base Dec. 21, 2021. The visit included a demonstration on flying the remotely piloted aircraft as well as a visit with members of the 111th Attack Wing. This photo was altered for security. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Jon Dahms)

A man in a flight suit brief two women indoors.

Senator Maria Collett (center), a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from district 12, receives a briefing on MQ-9 Reaper operations from Lt. Col. Jeremiah, a pilot and commander of the 111th Operations Support Squadron here, during a tour of the Biddle Air National Guard base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Dec. 21, 2021. Also pictured is Ms. Sandra Leggieri, Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission. Collett and Leggieri were part of a congressional delegation visit to Biddle that included a demonstration of a declassified U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper simulator and lunch with members of the 111th Attack Wing. This photo was altered for security purposes. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Jon Dahms).

People eating lunch.

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 4th district, meets with U.S. Air National Guard members, Tech. Sgt. Shawna Belusko (left), 111th Production Recruiter, and Col. Rebecca A. Gray, 111th Attack Wing Vice Commander (right), during a visit by federal and state congressional leaders to Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham Pennsylvania, December 21, 2021. The visitors were provided an update on the base, and were able to meet with junior enlisted members of the 111th ATKW for lunch. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Jon Dahms)

BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pa. --

A congressional delegation led by U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean visited the 111th Attack Wing at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Dec. 21, 2021.

The group of federal and state-level representatives received an update on the organization and the base and met with members of the command during their tour.

“It is a privilege to host our congressional leaders to share more about the mission of the 111th and the incredible work our Airmen do 365-days-a-year across the Commonwealth and around the world,” said Col. Rebecca A. Gray, 111th ATKW Vice Wing Commander. “It is important to connect with our congressional delegation as we look to the future. We must partner together in order to capitalize on the incredible resources of talent, military mission and our geography that we have here at Biddle Air Guard Base.”

At the outset of the tour, Congresswoman Dean made some opening remarks and thanked the 111th ATKW for its support to recent international and domestic operations.

“I want you to know that we not only appreciate and recognize your support to international operations via your MQ-9 Reaper operations and to Lithuania, our Guard State Partnership program partner; but also want to recognize your support at home to counter recent civil unrest in our nation’s capital and at home in Philadelphia,” Dean said. “I also want to thank you for your focus, commitment and progress in addressing community water quality issues and storm water runoff from the base.”

Dean also recognized the command for its support to Operation Allies Refuge at Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, the effort that provides transportation, temporary housing, medical screening, and support for some 14,000 Afghan evacuees located there.

The group received an information briefing from Gray and an MQ-9 Reaper mission briefing from Col. Edward J. Fink, Jr., 111th Operations Group Commander.

Following these briefings, the group divided into two parts and conducted a “round robin” tour of the MQ-9 simulator facility at the 111th OG, and received a cyber-mission briefing from the Lt. Col. Thomas A. Love, Commander, 112th Cyberspace Operations Squadron.

Joining Congresswoman Dean on the tour were Pennsylvania State Senators Maria Collet and Katie Muth along with State Representatives Ben Sanchez, Joe Webster, Nancy Guenst and Todd Stephens. U.S. Senator Pat Toomey was represented by his state director, Mr. Bob DeSouza; and U.S. Senator Bob Casey was represented by Mr. Zachary Shaw, his National Security Legislative Aide. U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick was represented by his district director, Mr. Peter Chong.
Other tour members included:

• Admiral (Retired) Nancy Lescavage, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission
• Mr. Peter Witmer, Deputy Dir., PMCEC
• Ms. Sandy Leggieri, PMCEC Commissioner
• Ms. Shea Bauersmith, Legislative Aide, Rep. Todd Stephens Office
• Mr. Kelly Lewis, President & CEO, Lewis Strategic, PLLC
• Ms. Jacqueline Dyer, Senior Constituent Advocate, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick Office
• Ms. Correne Kristiansen, Chief of Staff, Senator Collett’s Office
• Mr. Tom Ames, Deputy Director, Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority

“It was an exceptional day,” said Gray. “I want to thank all involved in welcoming our distinguished visitors to Biddle Air Guard Base, and especially thank our congressional and community leaders for taking time out of their busy schedules to visit the base and spend the day with our incredible Airmen.”