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Published August 10, 2011, 09:08 PM

UAS Training Facility Up And Running

It's a big day for both UND and the Grand Forks Air Force Base with a grand opening for the new unmanned aircraft systems training facility.

It's a big day for both UND and the Grand Forks Air Force Base with a grand opening for the new unmanned aircraft systems training facility.

The center bringing together UND, L3 Communications and the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

"This UAS training facility is one that is going to be involved in research, education and training of individuals that will be responsible for the advancement of our unmanned aircraft industry," UND President Robert Kelley said.

The addition at the base is 5,000 square feet and is set up for 25 students. The building has a Predator mission air crew training system, which is usually used by the military.

"Technology we've been working on for more than six years with the Air Force is technology we're going to be using here in this facility," Leonard Genna with L3 Communications said.

A ribbon-cutting and ceremony gave people the opportunity to see the new facility and try out some of the equipment, which gives students hands-on experience.

"Currently UND has 44 students signed up as UAS majors and 78 students signed up for a UAS introduction course. So this is a triple win as far as we're concerned," North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said.

The facility is partly funded by a #5 million Center of Excellence Enhancement grant. State leaders are proud to open up this facility in North Dakota.

"I think we are going to prove to be a model for the rest of the country on how you can build partnerships and produce for America," Senator Kent Conrad said.

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