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Unmanned military planes fly over Hampton Roads

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Mike Hixenbaugh
The Virginian-Pilot
January 4, 2013

Small unmanned surveillance planes routinely hum over Virginia Beach, but few residents seem to know about them.

The military aircraft are some of the same drones the U.S. government uses regularly to spy on Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Here, the Air Force planes are used to train members of Special Operations Forces, who in turn will be expected to pilot the drones overseas.

On any given day, the aircraft are permitted to fly near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at Fort Story and over farmland surrounding Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake.

With names like Raven, Wasp and ScanEagle, the reconnaissance planes are among hundreds of drones registered to fly over domestic airspace.

The five known to fly locally were made public last month when the Federal Aviation Administration released thousands of documents detailing unmanned aircraft activity across the country.

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This article was posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

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