LEESVILLE (AP) — The Louisiana National Guard has opened a drone training center at Fort Polk.
Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis says the unit has helped train 11 units at the Joint Readiness Training Center since August 2013, with 40 to 50 flight hours per group. It also trains soldiers at the fort and National Guard platoons.
The Guard held a ceremony Tuesday to celebrate the new $5.5 million, 11.5-acre center. It includes a 1,200-foot runway for unmanned aircraft and 10,000 square-foot building.
The drones can be used to gather intelligence or to play the enemy in training sessions.
The Louisiana guard’s unmanned aircraft systems program manager, Warrant Officer 2 Michael Gray, says neither the national training center nor U.S. facilities in Germany has a similar unit with regular training as its mission.