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Showing posts from September 2, 2012

Pivot to the Drones

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The U.S. Navy’s “Pivot to the Pacific” has been widely and openly discussed as additional shore infrastructure and operating forces shift to Guam, Singapore, and Australia.  At the same time, the Navy is quietly making investments on a number of fronts to support its rapidly growing fleet of unmanned systems.

Unmanned air systems (UAS) such as BAMs and the X-47B UCLASS contender have been tested at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland for several years. Last month at nearby Webster Field, the Navy broke ground on a $4.3 million 10,000 square foot Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operating Facility for Maryland Army National Guard Tactical UAS.  In southern Nevada, Naval Air Station Fallon’s proximity to established UAS operating locations Creech Air Force Base and the Nellis Test Ranges make it a contender for one of seven multi-service “centers of excellence” for UAVs to be established across the country.  If the Pentagon chooses this location, jobs and infrastructure would likely g…