FORT HUACHUCA, AZ (Tucson News Now) –
Fort Huachuca is now home to a new regiment of unmanned aerial aircraft. The drones will be part of a mission overseas.
Military men and women at Fort Huachuca celebrated the start of Echo Company. They will operate unmanned aerial systems, or UAS called Gray Eagle Aircraft.
“These aircraft will be used for missions to support ground force commander to conduct his daily missions or weekly missions he does on the ground, provide eyes overhead, to be able to provide the early warning system or be able to track enemy target,” said David Rousseau, Echo Company Commander.
The aircraft will fly itself from take off to landing and it can carry multiple weapons to help ground units in combat. Wing to wing, it is 56 feet wide, weighs 2,600 pounds and it can stay up in the air for up to 24 hours. You won’t even know it’s there because the camera lens are so high tech.
While there is no one inside the aircraft, there are pilots on the ground in control rooms who tell the aircraft where to go.
This new unit was originally supposed to be at Fort Campbell in Kentucky but there wasn’t enough room so they decided on Fort Huachuca temporarily.
“I mean all you have to do is look out the hangar and you can see why people like to fly here. Three hundred and sixty five days of wonderfully flying weather, great altitude,” said Daniel McFarland, Garrison Commander at Fort Huachuca.
Right now, the unit has four unmanned aircrafts and they’re expecting eight more in the coming year.
Commanders expect to have their first deployment early next year.