The Oregon National Guard is scheduled to conduct the first ever Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flight in the National Airspace System on Tuesday at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2 in Pendleton.
Soldiers of the Oregon Army National Guard's Bravo Co., 41 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, will operate the UAS flight, which is the first of its kind for a National Guard unit in the United States.
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.
Officials say Pendleton, is a UAS-friendly city with a climate and topography that is uniquely well-suited for UAS operations.
Q & A:
Q: Is the Army Aviation Support Facility #2 in Pendleton the UAS training area?
A: Yes, the Flight Facility in Pendleton will be the training area.
Q: Who will be training with the UAS?
A: The training will be conducted by Det. 1 Bravo Co, 41 Brigade Special Troops Battalion
Q: Why is the Oregon National Guard doing this training?
A: This is standard training. This flight on May 14 is the first regional training following receiving the FAA certificate to operate in Pendleton. While the UAS is a Guard and Active Duty mission, the unmanned aerial vehicles are used as a combat multiplier, and serve as the eyes and ears of the commander on the ground. It can conduct surveillance on the enemy without putting Soldiers in harm's way.
Q: Why is Pendleton uniquely suited to the UAS mission?
A: Pendleton is friendly toward the Unmanned Aerial System industry, and because of the climate, terrain, low population density and low commercial air traffic, the Pendleton Regional Airport is an ideal location for training with the UAS.