Commander says 188th's drone mission shows trust

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - The commander of the 188th Fighter Wing based in Fort Smith says the base's new drone mission shows significant trust in the unit's airmen.

Wing Commander Col. Mark Anderson said Friday the mission is unique in that it will have assigning, targeting and intelligence components.

The Southwest Times Record reports that Anderson said the 188th will be the only Air National Guard base with all 3 of those elements.

The base is losing its A-10 jet mission, and Anderson said the change is the most radical in the 60-year history of the base.

Anderson says the transition is underway and the first steps are being taken to begin planning. The last mission change took about three years. In 2007, the base was ordered to switch from F-16s to A-10s.