Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., said the arrival of the first Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft at Grand Forks Air Force Base shows the base is a “key leader” in unmanned aircraft technology.
“Unmanned aircraft holds tremendous potential for North Dakota and will provide new opportunities for agriculture, education and border security,” he said Friday in a written statement. “I’m proud of the work being done in Grand Forks to advance the training and development of this technology, and it’s exciting to see the Grand Forks Air Force Base and the University of North Dakota at the forefront of unmanned aircraft.”
A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft arrived at Grand Forks Air Force Base earlier this week, a public affairs officer confirmed Friday. More details aren’t expected until a media release next Tuesday; to learn more, read Tu-Uyen Tran’s article that also will be in Saturday’s Herald.
Grand Forks Air Force Base is scheduled to receive 11 Global Hawk Block 40 aircraft and also is home to Predator unmanned aircraft as the base continues to transition to its new missions.
Berg is a member of the U.S. House’s Unmanned Systems Caucus. He authored an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill that would allow the FAA to create four new test sites to study the effectiveness of UAS and commercial aircraft sharing airspace and runways; Grand Forks Air Force Base is in a prime position to be chosen as one of those sites.