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Report: Australia Sends Airmen to US for Armed Drone Training

ReaperAustralian defense officials said last week that Royal Australian Air Force personnel has begun training in the U.S. to operate armed unmanned aircraft, Reuters reported Sunday.

Matt Siegel writes the announcement came just days after the U.S. State Department issued a new policy that allows exports of drones to U.S. allies under certain conditions.

According to the report,  Australian military air personnel were sent to the U.S. to train on the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper UAV.

“It would be remiss of Australia not to continue to develop our knowledge of this technology to ensure we are able to gain the greatest benefit from unmanned aerial systems and the best protection for our troops on future operations,” Darren Chester, parliamentary secretary to the Australian defense minister, told Reuters.

The Australian government pledged to buy Northrop Grumman Triton surveillance drones and Boeing Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the U.S. government last year.

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