Wednesday, November 2, 2016

U.S. Navy's first drone squadron stands up

U.S. Navy's first drone squadron stands up: The U.S. Navy's first drone squadron was stood up Friday at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

The new unit will be known as Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 and is comprised of Northrop Grumman-built MQ-4C Triton drones.

The squadron will be co-located with manned P-8A Poseidon squadrons and will fall under Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11, the U.S. Naval Institute reported last week.

Its first deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet is slated for 2018, the institute reported.

While the squadron does not yet have any air vehicles, they are slated to arrive late next year.

Until then, squadron members are rotating through Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland to train with the test pilots who are stationed there.

A Triton trainer will arrive in Jacksonville in January for training.

The new squadron's crews will also collaborate with P-8 pilots to develop tactics, techniques and procedures, the naval institute reports.