Willow Grove air base tapped to house drone-control station

    The U.S. Air Force is expected to build a ground-control station for remotely piloted drones at a Pennsylvania National Air Guard base in suburban Philadelphia.

    The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said Tuesday that nearly 250 new staff will be needed to support the 111th Fighter Wing’s new mission at the former Joint Reserve Base-Willow Grove in Horsham.

    Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, calls it a “major military and economic victory for Pennsylvania.”

    Personnel at a number of air bases around the country are already piloting the MQ-9 Reapers, which have been used in the skies over Afghanistan.

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    The Reapers won’t actually be located on the base, but the department says they’ll be controlled from a virtual cockpit on the installation by a two-person team.

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