Camp Ripley Is Home to UAS Base [AUDIO]
CAMP RIPLEY -- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul lead a near 13 hour filibuster in the U.S. Senate yesterday (Wednesday) over the potential use of military "drones" on American soil.
Unmanned Aerial Surveillance bases, or UAS, are located all across the country - including right here in central Minnesota. The base at Camp Ripley is home to two types of UAS vehicles - the larger Shadow and the Raven, which is the size of a toy airplane. Neither machine carries any weapons, unlike the Predator UAS used overseas.
The vehicles at the camp are manually controlled by a member of the UAS Platoon of the First Brigade. Major, John Donovan says these vehicles are piloted by highly trained individuals.
Major, Keith Ferdon says the vehicles are restricted to flying within the camp property.
Despite some concern from national political figures, the vehicles are used strictly for surveillance purposes at Camp Ripley. Donovan says the vehicles help prepare soldiers for potential future combat.
The UAS facility is described by officials as "state of the art." The camp also hosts other out-state units for training within its territory. The base is the only UAS facility in Minnesota.