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Begich Recommends Interior Alaska for Army Training Program


Advocates for Greater Military Assets and Missions in the State

Continuing his advocacy for more military assets and missions to be based in Alaska, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich this week wrote to Army leadership to strongly recommend Interior Alaska for stationing the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program in the state.

The Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial System would bring a new enduring mission and approximately 128 additional military members, plus their families, to Alaska.

Begich writes in a letter sent to Secretary of the Army John  McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno:

“With its unrivalled training airspace, collocation of partner training assets, and ability to support additional infrastructure and manpower, I strongly recommend that Interior Alaska is your best available option for basing the Gray Eagle in the 25th Infantry Division. Interior Alaska is home to several key defense installations, all capable of supporting Gray Eagle operations. .. Interior Alaska is the perfect location for basing Gray Eagle in the 25th Infantry Division. I invite you both to visit the Interior Alaska installations and witness their strengths first-hand. “

Begich invited both the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff to visit all the proposed basing locations in Interior Alaska to witness first-hand the unmatched training opportunities provided in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.

Begich also highlighted the ability of the Interior communities to easily absorb the population increase. He writes that there would be almost no “noticeable impact on public schools, housing, and other factors.  The communities will accept the additional mission, personnel, and military families with open arms.”

Basing the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) in Interior Alaska will allow the Army to train using its latest tactics, techniques and procedures including Level IV Manned-Unmanned Teaming which allow Helicopter pilots to control the Gray Eagle UAS in their cockpit from a more secure location.

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