Middle Tennessee State University and the 118th Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard have signed a partnership agreement.

The two sides will focus on training and research initiatives, which include unmanned aircraft systems operations and computer science.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by MTSU Provost Mark Byrnes, Tennessee adjutant general major general Jeff Holmes and wing commander colonel Todd Wiles.

The 118th Wing aims to provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and combat capability to the US Air Force and aid the state during emergencies.

Byrnes said: “We at MTSU take great pride in the many unique and productive partnerships that our academic colleges and units establish to provide real-world opportunities and experiences for our students.

“Given the wing’s use of this technology and given MTSU’s expertise as one of the first in the nation in the creation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations major through our Department of Aerospace, our collaborations hold great promise for teaching and research.”

This partnership follows many other similar initiatives of the university.

Since 2014, the MTSU has worked with the Civil Air Patrol, which is a volunteer civilian auxiliary of the USAF.

Holmes said: “There are so many innovative things the university has done in the past, the collaboration of military and the support of veterans.”

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the partnership of MTSU with the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Many of the students at the university have also enrolled in Air Force ROTC under the regional detachment in Nashville.