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Posted: Monday, April 14th, 2014 12:25 PM HST

Drone training flights proposed for Hawai`i site

By 67AM KPUA News

HILO, Hawaii (AP) A proposal to relocate unmanned aircraft from California to Hawai`i calls for the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island to host drone training flights for up to 12 weeks a year.

An environmental assessment completed recently says the reconnaissance drones would be based at Marine Corps base Hawaii at Oahu's Kaneohe Bay. But the drones also would utilize training areas at the Pohakuloa Training Area and on Kauai.

12 Shadow and 45 Blackjack drones would be involved in the transfer of the Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Three, currently based at Twenty nine Palms, Calif. Under the proposal, the relocation would begin as early as June. Blackjack drones would be added next year.

The assessment says the transfer would allow the Marines to achieve a balance in its capabilities in the Pacific region.

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