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Guard plans weekly drone flight to Eastern Oregon

PENDLETON (AP) — The Oregon National Guard plans to fly drones over the Eastern Oregon Airport in Pendleton and nearby wheat fields once a week to train for aerial surveillance in combat.

The guard demonstrated one of its four drones Tuesday and said it was the first flight of an unmanned military aircraft through civilian airspace.

The Oregonian reports the Guard is moving drone training to the airport to avoid conflicts with jets from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station at the bombing range near Boardman.

The Guard flies the RQ7B Shadow. It’s 11 feet long with a wingspan of 14 feet and is equipped with infrared and video cameras.

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