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Published January 14, 2011, 07:16 PM

GFAFB Staying Busy By Preparing For New Mission

These "Warriors Of The North" are getting ready for the new mission. Three buildings on base are currently under construction to support the new UAS mission.

You may think since the last KC-135 left in December the Grand Forks Air Force Base has nothing to do. But in reality, the base commander says, they're busier than ever.

"Given all those tasks that haven't gone away and taken into the fact that we have a decrease in personnel the folks that are here find themselves incredibility busy from day to day," said Colonel Don Shaffer, GFAFB Commander.

With that, these "Warriors Of The North" are getting ready for the new mission. Three buildings on base are currently under construction to support the new UAS mission.

"We will get a launch and recovery element here in Grand Forks and that's required to bring the aircraft down. We're also getting two mission control elements which are basically the cockpits for these remote piloted aircraft," said Shaffer.

The work load on base is about to get lighter as more personnel arrive from other Air Combat Commands.

"We have already accepted new personnel from the Air Combat Command for the new mission. The base population will continue to grow from about this time until the end of the summer," said Shaffer.

Colonel Shaffer says all this hard work is not going unnoticed.

"General Johns has been here three times in the last year to visit the base and every time he has walked away thrilled and really excited about the progress we're making and the things we're doing," said Shaffer.

The first Air Force UAV is going to land at the Grand Forks Air Force Base sometime this summer.

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