Oregon National Guard Gets Drone, First Test Flight Tuesday Near Pendleton
The Oregon National Guard is the first such unit in the U.S. to get and test such a drone.
Tuesday, May 14th, a drone called the RQ-7 Shadow will lift off from a runway at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Pendleton for the first-ever test flight of it's kind in the U.S. While numerous drones have been tested, and many are in operation, no National Guard unit in the U.S. has had or test flown such an aircraft.
According to the news release from the Oregon National Guard:
According to Lt. Col. Alan R. Gronewold, Commander of AASF #2, the mission puts the Oregon Army National Guard at the cutting-edge of Unmanned Aerial System technology, but cautions that it will do so safely and responsibly.
"The Oregon Army National Guard Defends the Constitution of the United States and the Constitutional Rights of its Citizens. We do not conduct surveillance on U.S. Citizens," Gronewold said
Troops from the Oregon National Guard's Bravo Company, 41st. Special Brigade will conduct the flight. Officials say the climate and topography (geographic landscape) in and around Pendleton makes for an excellent testing area.
Officials did not lay out what specific missions the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) would be used for, but again stressed it would not be used for surveillance on citizens.
SSG Pat Caldwell of the 3rd. Battalion, 116th Calvary Regiment told Newstalk 870 the purpose of this and subsequent flights are to train for OVERSEAS missions. He also said the RQ-7 Shadow carries only cameras, and is not fitted with weapons.
The flight will take place at 1pm Tuesday.