Friday, May 23, 2014

Fort Drum Gets $27 Million For Drone Hangar

Fort Drum is getting $27 million to build an unmanned aerial vehicle hangar.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand made the announcement Friday that the funding has passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The funding package now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

Fort Drum's Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System mission became active in October 2013 and has already received 4 of the 9 anticipated Gray Eagles.

The mission is currently operating out of a temporary facility until construction of this new hangar is completed in 2016.

"Federal funding for a new hangar at Fort Drum will support and expand its current unmanned aerial operations, and help ensure the facility stays an engine of jobs and economic growth for Watertown and all of Jefferson County for years to come," said Schumer in a news release. "Moreover, this investment will reinforce Fort Drum's position as a key asset for our military. With a new hangar and more capabilities for storing and flying unmanned aircraft, Fort Drum will continue to play a large part in the Army's, and the North Country's, future."

"This is an important next step for Fort Drum's unmanned aerial vehicle program," Gillibrand said in a news release. "This new unit bolsters our national defense capabilities, and building the new hangar will put New Yorkers to work."

The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) deployed by the Army to execute reconnaissance, surveillance, security, attack, and command and control missions.

Other infantry divisions have also been assigned Gray Eagle companies to support the soldiers as they deploy overseas.

The funding will be used to create a hangar to house a fleet of ten Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft and 128 employees at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.  


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