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McCain Pushes Unmanned Aircraft in Grand Forks - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

McCain Pushes Unmanned Aircraft in Grand Forks

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Senators McCain and Hoeven are mounting a 2-pronged lobbying effort to try and expand

unmanned aircraft systems training and research, right here at Grand Forks.

Reporter: "Senator, did you ever fly again after

Vietnam?"

Sen. John McCain: "Oh yeah, I flew quite a bit. Then unfortunately I was unable to remain on flying status, which was one of the reasons I left the Navy."

   Senator Hoeven has been courting aerospace giant, Northrup-Gruman, and Senator McCain

is on the Armed Services Committee.

  McCain got a quick tour of UND's Aerospace facilities and told me in a one on one interview, that expanding the UAS mission at Grand Forks compliments the one already operating in Arizona.

 Sen. John McCain: "I think it balances out our presence and our emphasis on the southern border, where we have facilities like this. I think we need that kind of balance in the north and I think it's very important we have it here and I'm confident we will."

    Meanwhile, Senator Hoeven has been lobbying Northrup Grumman to build a UAS training

and testing facility at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

 Sen. John Hoeven: "That's what I mean when I say we're pushing on all fronts, because this is the technology that's going to drive aviation for this Country in the future and we want it to be right here."

  Hoeven says that could mean 27-hundred new jobs.

Reporter: "Right here in Grand Forks, North Dakota?"

Sen. John McCain: "Right here in Grand Forks, North Dakota, not Fargo…ha."

  Grand Forks is vying to become one of six federal pilot test sites in the Country for integrating unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace.   

McCain later appeared at a rally for Republican Senate candidate, Rick Berg.

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