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Pentagon Relocates Djibouti-Based RPAs

The Pentagon is shifting a fleet of remotely piloted vehicles from Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti to an undisclosed remote location in the Horn of Africa nation, reported Voice of America. The move reportedly comes at the request of Djiboutian government following a series of RPA mishaps. Djiboutian officials, according to various media outlets, are concerned about the safety of operating the RPAs so close to Djibouti's international airport. The RPAs assigned to Camp Lemonnier have been using the same runway as commercial airliners. "Over the last several years, working together with Djiboutian officials, the [Defense] Department has taken a number of steps to improve air safety in Djibouti," Pentagon spokesman Maj. Robert Firman told the Daily Report on Sept. 26. "Relocating to a non-commercial airfield was an additional step we took in line with these improvements," he said. Firman said he could not discuss operational details or plans; however, he did confirm "the full scope" of DOD operations in Djibouti remains "uninterrupted." He added, "Djibouti will remain an enduring and strategic location for our operations in East Africa."
—Amy McCullough
9/27/2013
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