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July, 2017 Meeting: “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations”
July 27 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Col Blake Lamar
Maintenance Group Commander, 163d Attack Wing, California Air National Guard
“Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations”
Born in Texas, raised in California and enlisted in the California Air National Guard in 1983, Col. Lamar graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in Psychology. He performed several tours of duty, flying combat and combat support missions, in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. In 2006, Lamar was selected as Initial Cadre for the 196th Squadron’s conversion to the MQ-1 Predator, helping pioneer the stand up of the Air National Guard’s first operational Remote Piloted Aircraft Squadron unit, which was recognized as “the most innovative Remote Piloted Aircraft Squadron in the Air Force” by senior Air Force leadership, including in 2013, the first RPA support mission for a California civil disaster by helping firefighters battle the Yosemite Rim Fire.
The 163d Attack Wing is comprised of more than 800 personnel and provides support to more than 200 additional members at geographically separated locations. The wing is the California Air National Guard’s exclusive MQ-9 Reaper operations unit providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, as well as tactical combat support, to commanders and war fighters around the world. Commander of the 163d Maintenance Group, Col. Lamar will discuss the ins and outs of keeping these birds flying including logistical challenges and human factors and share some insightful stories of the more exciting moments of his career.