Predators for Ellington Field

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, announced Wednesday that Houston’s Ellington Field will host a new squadron of Predator UASes. It is one of several new sites at which the Air Force plans to base the unmanned aircraft under its Future Total Force initiative. The UASes have been critical to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Perry noted the homeland security aspect, saying that a Predator unit at Ellington will “add greater protection for critical homeland infrastructure in the Houston area, such as the port and oil and gas facilities.” The squadron could become operational in summer 2006, and the new UASes will employ 450 personnel—increasing the field’s staff by nearly 50 percent.