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Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 10:00am

Army Expands Surveillance Training

Ft. Stewart is expanding its unmanned aerial vehicle programs to include the Gray Eagle drone.

The Army is building a hangar and training facility for an additional 128 soldiers on what is already the largest military base on the East Coast.

Lt. Col. Al Garnica of the 3rd Infantry Division says half of the newly assigned soldiers are here already with the rest arriving before project completion in late 2013.

"This particular company will be fully mission capable following our current deployment cycle," Lt. Col. Garnica says. "So if we have a deployment in the future then this will definitely provide us the capabilities we need."

The remotely controlled Grey Eagle surveillance aircraft is part of a larger push in the military towards a more advanced battlefield network.

"Grey Eagle is a new type of unmanned aerial system," Lt. Col. Garnica says. "It complements the systems that we have now. It's another layer of surveillance - another capability for the division and other units across the Army."

The unmanned vehicles, sometimes called drones, are aimed at providing real time intelligence to soldiers and sailors across the globe.

Base officials say the surveillance aircraft will only be flown over restricted military airspace.

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