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Published November 10, 2010, 11:10 AM

Boosting the Base

The commander of Grand Forks Air Force Base says it will rebound next year with more planes and people.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The commander of Grand Forks Air Force Base says it will rebound next year with more planes and people.

The base has 1,500 personnel and another 2,200 dependents and civilian workers. It has four refueling tankers remaining but they'll be gone next month under plans approved five years ago to transition the base to a drone mission.

Col. Don Shaffer says beginning in January, new personnel will be arriving to prepare for the July arrival of the first Global Hawk unmanned spy plane.

Shaffer tells the Grand Forks Herald the number of personnel should reach 2,000 by September and top out at 2,400 when all eight Global Hawks arrive on base.

The base already hosts Predator drones operated by border and customs officials and will host more Predators flown by National Guard pilots in Fargo.

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