Amid national scrutiny, Fort Hood unveils new drone technology
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Fort Hood commanders Wednesday unveiled a new unmanned drone aircraft which will help them train soldiers to gather vital information.
The use of unmanned aircraft may be a controversial issue nationally, but the soldiers at Fort Hood say they are excited to show what is changing the battlefields of today.
"It's amazing to see how well the army can take young, 18-year-old kids that were playing PlayStation 3 two weeks ago, getting ready to graduate high school, to come here flying the newest, most expensive unmanned aircraft system in the Army," Maj. Nathan Lewis said.
As a professional soldier, 22-year-old Specialist Jacob Presnell's experience with video games is quickly translating to the ability to control the state-of-the-art drone.
"I still feel comfortable enough that we're trained enough to go down range and assist the ground units and save lives and keep everybody safe," Spc. Presnell said.
While military officials are excited to use the drones to save soldiers' lives on the battlefield, politicians in Washington D.C. have expressed their concerns that drone technology will be used domestically.
Republican Senator Rand Paul has led the recent charge asking President Obama to address whether unmanned aircraft would ever be used to attack American citizens domestically.
Attorney General Eric Holder fielded tough questions from lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
“Here in the United States where the possibility of capture is obviously enhanced and as a result that, the use of drones is from my perspective something that is entirely, entirely hypothetical,” Attorney General Holder said.
While lawmakers in D.C. debate the issue of domestic use, Fort Hood officials see the proven benefits overseas and will continue to train.
"These things save soldiers' lives every day they are up in the air,” Maj. Lewis said.
According to U.S. Army officials, Fort Hood has four of the new Gray Eagle drones ready to fly on post.