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Report: Pentagon Includes Boeing Drone In $641M Fund Shift Request

The Defense Department is asking Congress to shift $641 million in intelligence and surveillance funds toward expanding use of a Boeing-built drone for Navy commandos in Afghanistan, Bloomberg reports.

According to Tony Capaccio’s report, $94.2 million would go to ground stations for Boeing’s ScanEagle drone, used to assist Afghan local police.

Six contractor-operated sites in Iraq would move to Afghanistan and Navy SEAL-operated ground stations would double to eight from four, according to the report.

The Navy used the drone to track a lifeboat off the coast of Somalia, where pirates held a ship captain hostage in April 2009.

Citing Navy officials, Capaccio reports the drones have flown more than 5,600 hours of reconnaissance since November 2008.

Insitu Inc., a Boeing subsidiary based in Bingen, Wash., builds the drone.

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