Tuesday, 8 January 2013

US Embassy: Drone was launched during US-only exercise in Sept

Fallen drone …  A US-made unmanned aerial vehicle, identified as a BQM-74E target drone, was recovered in waters off San Jacinto town on Ticao Island, Masbate, early on Sunday morning. – Photo by MASBATE PROVINCIAL POLICE OFFICE

MANILA: The United States-made drone recovered off Ticao Island in Masbate on Sunday morning was launched during a week-long US-only exercise in September, the US Embassy in Manila said on Tuesday.
“The unarmed target drone that washed ashore off the coast of Masbate Island is an expended BQM-74E Aerial Target drone that was launched from the USS Chafee (DDG 90) during exercise Valiant Shield 2012 on Sept 19, 2012 off the coast of Guam,” spokeswoman Tina Malone said in a statement.
The Valiant Shield 2012, held every two years since 2006 which focuses on the cooperation between US military branches, took place in Guam last September.
“It appears that ocean currents brought the drone to where it washed ashore last week off Masbate Island,” it added.
The military has already dispatched an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team for investigation.
“We sent an EOD team for initial investigations on the navy drone.
“The EOD team found that the drone already has some barnacles and assessed to be safe for transport,” military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr said.  - Inquirer

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