U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) said last week she applauded a U.S. Air Force announcement that Arizona’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is a potential site for hosting growing remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations.
“Remotely piloted aircraft have drastically changed the way we fight, and there’s no better base to conduct the Air Force’s future RPA missions than Davis-Monthan (DM),” McSally said. “DM features a robust command and control and communications infrastructure, was just named Installation of the Year for Air Combat Command and is based in a community that supports a high quality of life for airmen and their families. In fact, this mission already occurs here as part of the Air National Guard’s 214th Reconnaissance Group’s RPA operations.”
McSally said Arizona's frequently clear weather, plentiful air space and strategic location near Fort Huachuca and the Barry F. Goldwater Range make southern Arizona a logical choice for launch and recovery efforts as well as aircraft training exercises.
“These new units could be a major boost for southern Arizona, and we need to quickly unite as a community to show strong support to bring them here,” she said.
The Air Force said it intends to double the number of RPA flying squadrons and augment RPA staff by 2,500 to 3,000 airmen.
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