The withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq will not imply a reduction in flights of unmanned aircrafts but the flight hours will rise, according to U.S. Army officials.
"You've heard recently all combat units have pulled out of Iraq, but we have not seen any reduction in the number of unmanned aircraft. You will see an increase in flight hours in the next year. It's not going to slow down any time soon," said Col. Gregory Gonzalez, Project Manager for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the Program Executive Office for Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Tim Owings, Deputy Project Manager for the Program Executive Office for Aviation, said as more troops leave Iraq, the need for surveillance increases in order to maintain peace-keeping operations.
Gonzalez added that the Army's use of UAS in Afghanistan is expected to increase as well.