Buckley Air Force Base opens new aerial drone training facility


(Photo: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

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AURORA, Colo. -- Buckley Air Force Base has a new $4 million drone training facility for National Guard soldiers.

The facility houses three RQ-7 Shadow drones. Each one cost about $1 million.

The most expensive part of the drones are the cameras, which cost about $400,000 each. The cameras are so important to the military that if something happens to the drones, the cameras have their own parachutes attached to them.

The drones are unarmed are specifically used for surveillance. They can travel as far as 75 miles.

“This is the commanders’ eyes in the skies,” Staff Sgt. Devin Sager said.

The drones won’t be flown around Buckley Air Force Base; they’re only allowed to fly in special restricted airspace around Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. To use them, the soldiers have to transfer them from Buckley to Fort Carson.

Aside from the three drones, the new facility also has a simulation center, where soldiers can train on computer programs designed by the military.

“A simulation is almost identical to a real world event,” Sgt. Darren Robey said.

The facility is roughly 10,300 square feet.

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