Case Study

174th Attack Wing Expands Drone Program, Upgrades Data Center



Customer Profile

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, NY, has served as an essential military asset shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. The 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field performs various operations, including close air support, air interdiction, intelligence collection, and quick strike capabilities. The Hancock Field Base is used to remotely pilot MQ-9 Reaper drones on combat and surveillance missions. It also serves as a maintenance and training facility for drone crews.

Customer Challenge

In 2019, the U.S. Airforce sought to expand its fleet of MQ-Reaper drones at the site by sending four extra aircraft, two mobile ground control stations, and new training equipment to the base. With the expansion of this program, the base required updates to its central control center to support the additional equipment. A large data room was needed to handle the program’s remote monitoring needs.

Stark Tech Solution

The Stark Tech team selected and installed two (2) Vertiv Liebert DSE 85kw into the base’s upgraded data center. The thermal management solution’s innovative design makes it up to 50% more efficient than legacy solutions. It allows for partial or complete economization with pumped refrigerant in place of compressors when outside air is cooler than the space. This solution adds capacity efficiently with its modular, scalable design with no need for additional chillers, cooling towers, or ductwork.

The team also installed two (2) Vertiv Liebert Mini-Mate variable capacity systems. This system will not only save the base money, but it will increase IT protection through a high-efficiency variable capacity design, lower maintenance requirements, and built-in remote monitoring and management.


This project took around 48 weeks to complete. The CRAC units are successfully maintaining the space with energy efficiency. The new aircrafts and equipment have allowed the base to almost double the number of Reaper drone pilots and sensor operators trained at Hancock Field from 45 to 85 per year.

Equipment Installed

  • Vertiv CRAC units
  • 2- 85kw DSE
  • 2- 5 ton Mini-Mate’s

Project Photos