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Grand Forks, ND - This Is the Drone Capital of the World

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posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 02:07 PM
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There is something about this article:


The General Atomics billboard catches my eye as I'm cruising down US Route 2. "Welcome," it says, "to Global Hawk country."[

Suddenly, the last two days made a lot more sense: The small city of Grand Forks, North Dakota is undeniably the drone capital of the world.


 


What I found was a bizarre place where the country's drone debate is already over, and the drones have won. It's not just the Air Force. Consider for a moment:

Customs and Border Patrol flies its Predator drones out of Grand Forks.

The first American man to be arrested with the help of one of those said Predator Drones happened back in 2011.

The University of North Dakota began offering a drone pilot major back in 2009, the first four year university in the country to do so.

The Grand Forks Police Department was one of the first in the country to use drones, it does so openly, and recently became the first in the nation to arrest suspects with the help of one.



source

Upon reading the article my first thought was: are drones being accepted here because of the much needed jobs and or money they have brought into the area?




edit on 25-10-2014 by AlaskanDad because: Had problem with EX tags

edit on Sat Oct 25 2014 by DontTreadOnMe because: snipped over-long quote IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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Drones are technological & soulless darkness. If that's my premise then I can only imagine a wounded and sick society accepting them in any way.



posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad


Upon reading the article my first thought was: are drones being accepted here because of the much needed jobs and or money they have brought into the area?

I lived in Grand Forks for about thirty years before moving out of state in 2011.

There are a lot of reasons for it -- there are tons of drones there because the University of North Dakota has been one of the biggest aviation universities in the country for decades, there are programs in drone flying and maintenance at both the U and at other regional schools, the Grand Forks Air Force base hosts a drone wing and there are a number of startups in Grand Forks that are focused on drone technology.

The real "why" is pretty simple -- Eastern North Dakota is one of the flattest, emptiest spaces in the country, and they have very lax regulations for aviation as a result.

Money? Jobs? Not so much -- the Red River Valley is also one of the most fertile regions in the world, so agriculture will likely always be king, but there's nothing wrong with diversity.


edit on 25-10-2014 by adjensen because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

Whoever wrote it apparently couldn't even be bothered with basic fact checking.


It's not just the fact that the Grand Forks Air Force Base has more Global Hawk pilots and actual Global Hawk drones (which are unarmed, and the most commonly flown the military has) than any other military base the United States has.


Um...no, no, and no.

The Global Hawk primary base is Beale AFB in California. The 12th Reconnaissance Squadron operates from Beale, and both units fall under the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which operates the U-2, MC-12, and RQ-4.

As for it being the most commonly flown, not even close. As of FY13, there were fewer than 50, with more on the way. There are almost 300 Reaper and Predator UAVs in service.



posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 07:31 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Thanks for your adding some facts!


The article is beginning to feel like a quickly thrown together fluff piece decrying that the use of drones over the USA has already been accepted, which in some circles it is.



posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 03:08 PM
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I did a few searches on this:



  • The Grand Forks Police Department was one of the first in the country to use drones, it does so openly, and recently became the first in the nation to arrest suspects with the help of one.


  • The only evidence I found of them using drone were very small RC units that look more like something from a hobby shop rather than the military type drones.



    posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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    a reply to: AlaskanDad

    Almost all the civilian UAV use is going to be small quadcopter type, or similar.



    posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 03:58 PM
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    a reply to: Zaphod58

    I find it somewhat reassuring that the DOD is not giving military drones to LE.

    Digging a little more I found this:


    A cattle rancher in North Dakota has become the first U.S. citizen to be convicted and sent to prison based on evidence gathered by a Predator drone.



    U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has loaned drones 700 times between 2010 and 2012, according to documents revealed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil rights organization fighting against police use of drones.


    source

    I would imagine that the loan of a drone includes pilot too, the use of drones would be better than using helicopters where there is armed suspects that might shoot at a pilot or aircraft.




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