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Published February 16, 2010, 04:23 PM

Northland Now Home of World's First UAS Maintenance Program

Northland Community and Technical college is joining in the Unmanned Aerial Systems craze that's caught the attention of UND, the Border patrol and the Air Force Base. Thanks to a 5-million dollar grant they will become the world's first UAS maintenance training program.

Northland Community and Technical college is joining in the Unmanned Aerial systems craze that's caught the attention of UND, the Border patrol and the Air Force Base.

Thanks to a 5-million dollar grant they will become the world's first UAS maintenance training program.

Northland Community and Technical College is soaring to new heights, thanks to a 5 million dollar grant that will position them as the world's leader in Unmanned Aerial Systems maintenance training.

Anne Temte "What this will do is garner the attention of not only the upper midwest region but the whole country."

The Grand Forks area has already established itself as a UAS center. With the Border Patrol's 2 UAV's, UND's new undergraduate training program, and the the Air Force Base's Mission. Now Northland has solved the last piece of the puzzle.

Scott Fletcher: "With these pieces the missions at Grand Forks, and there was a key component we thought was missing and that was the maintenance training we're trying to build up at the TRF airport."

This hanger represents one of the top airplane maintenance training programs in the country at Northland for over 50-years. A big reason why they were awarded the grant.

The 5-million dollar grant makes this hanger at Northland the home of the first UAS maintenance training program in the world. When classes start next spring they expect about 25 students to enroll initially.

Scott Fletcher: "What the 5-million dollars will do for us is it will bring some new people on, some new equipment and we're looking to get some shells."

Initially 5 new staff will be hired. Northland says this will reposition the school for unlimited revenue growth. The school is already working to establish contracts with the military, major companies like Northrup Gruman and other industry leaders to land big training contracts.

Anne Temte: "We're trying to partner with the corporations, and the military, both the Air Force in Grand Forks and the Minnesota National Guard."

The grant will be awarded over the three years. The program's first classes should be in place by next spring.

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