Minn. National Guard launches new drone facility - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Minn. National Guard launches new drone facility

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota National Guard has officially launched its new $3.9 million Unmanned Aircraft Operations Facility at Camp Ripley.

The Star Tribune reports the facility is capable of storing, maintaining and launching the unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, as well as training operators.

Unit commander Capt. Eric Lewanski says guard members from other states also can train there.

There are seven drones at Camp Ripley. They carry sophisticated cameras that help troops see what's over the next hill, around the next corner or up ahead in the road.

The National Guard's drones have been to Iraq and Afghanistan. In Minnesota, they are only allowed to fly at Camp Ripley.


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