First Non-Military RPA Training Center

L-3 Link Simulation and Training and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks have agreed to establish the first non-military educational institution in the US providing initial qualification and continuation training for MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper operators. The memorandum of understanding says the facility will open its doors in March 2011, according to the company’s June 2 release. The training center will be located both on UND’s campus and at Grand Forks Air Force Base, where the US Customs and Border Protection agency already operates an unarmed MQ-9s to patrol the US-Canada border. The base is slated to receive the first of its Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 reconnaissance aircraft in mid-2011, A1C Rachel Martinez, spokeswoman for Grand Forks’ 319th Air Refueling Wing, confirmed to the Daily Report Friday. (See CBP UAS overview.)