Oregon National Guard fly new drones in civilian airspace

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 7:13pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 8:20pm

A new military drone program is taking flight in Eastern Oregon.

It's civilian airspace, one of the first times the Federal Aviation Administration has signed off letting the army train in public at Pendleton, Oregon.

The drones will be operated by mostly local soldiers who have trained with the equipment before in other locations including active war zones.

"I bring what I learned overseas to teach new recruits within the platoon how to use the shadow system correctly in a combat situation. Right now the drones are only approved to be used for training but Sergeant Avery hopes they can help respond to emergencies like fires and missing persons in the future." said Sergeant Michael Avery of the US Army.

The Oregon National Guard says Pendleton is an ideal location to start this kind of training in civilian airspace because of its climate, terrain and low commercial air traffic. 

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