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Colo. Army National Guard to break ground on new facility 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
Unmanned Aerial Systems Platoon 

Unmanned Aerial Systems Platoon, Company B, Special Troops Battalion, set the Fort Carson, Colo., record for the most RQ-7 Shadow 200 flights in one day -- five -- in August 2012. (Photo provided by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Darryl DellaRossa)

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Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

Army National Guard Spc. Zach Sheely

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (11/30/12) – The Colorado Army National Guard will break ground on a new facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., Dec. 1 at 10:30 a.m.

The facility will house the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System for the Company B, Special Troops Battalion, which serves in direct support to the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain).

The unit is responsible for the timely, accurate and synchronized intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of maneuver units, commanders, staff and subordinates during the planning preparation, and execution of multiple, simultaneous decision actions on a battlefield.

In times of war, the RQ-7 Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, will be used tactically for target acquisition, aerial reconnaissance and surveillance. A drone can also serve as a deterrent by its presence overhead, serving notice to hostile forces that they are being watched.

Drones also have domestic applications, and as such, were deployed to assess the situation on the ground following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Colorado National Guard senior leaders are scheduled to speak starting at 10:30 a.m. 

Scheduled to be completed in October 2013, the building cost is expected to bring $3,600,000 into the local economy, coming from federal funds.

Located on Buckley Air Force Base, the 10,300-square-foot facility will house administration, mission planning, classroom, simulator, and maintenance space.

Operating and maintaining the four UAVs will be the responsibility of a single platoon in Company B. Each aircraft requires its own launching crew as well as two operators; one to pilot the craft and one for the surveillance camera. The Shadow Operating System computers, not human operators, land the UAV.

"The new UAS facility will greatly enhance the training benefit to our UAS Platoon," said 1st Lt. Michael Ciavatta, Company B executive officer. "That increases our ability to successfully complete our UAS mission of tactical battlefield surveillance."

The contractor for the project is McCauley Constructors Inc., from Windsor, Colo. Approximately 60 percent of the construction labor will be provided by local firms, including all civil, mechanical, electrical and plumbing work.

Media representatives wishing to attend should RSVP with Army National Guard Spc. Zach Sheely at 303-330-8587.

For Assignment Editors: News media representatives interested in covering the promotion ceremony should arrive at the Mississippi gate at Buckley Air Force Base (on Mississippi Avenue one block east of Tower Road) no later than 9:30 a.m. Media will drive through the commercial vehicle lane and their vehicles will be searched. Media representatives must have proof of insurance, vehicle registration, identification and valid press credentials (business cards are sufficient). Media will be escorted to the Army Aviation Support Facility between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. Media will be escorted off base at the conclusion of the ceremony. For questions, contact Army National Guard Spc. Zach Sheely at 303-330-8587.


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