Looking for More UAVs

North Dakota lawmakers and civic leaders descended upon the Pentagon July 25 to urge Air Force officials to enhance the nascent unmanned aerial vehicle mission planned for Grand Forks AFB, N.D. And, they want to get a lock on the service’s next generation aerial refueler. Currently, USAF plans for Grand Forks comprise basing Predator UAVs there in 2009 and Global Hawk UAVs in 2010. The base stands to lose its aerial refueling aircraft under BRAC 2005. Sen. Kent Conrad, Sen. Bryan Dorgan, and Rep. Earl Pomeroy expressed the hope that the Air Force would preserve the base’s tanker infrastructure for new tankers.