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    US to Deploy Gray Eagle Armed Drone Squadron to South Korea - Army

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    The United States is deploying a permanent squadron of General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to an air base in South Korea, US Forces Korea said in a press release on Monday.

    Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test.
    © REUTERS / U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout
    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The drones will be assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division. The US Army ultimately plans to add one Gray Eagle company to every division, the release said.

    "The US Army, after coordination with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the US Air Force, has begun the process to permanently station a Gray Eagle unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea," the release stated.

    According to US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis, the deployment the drones will likely begin in early 2018.

    "US Army, after coordination with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the US Air Force, is beginning the process to permanently station a Gray Eagle unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, to begin some time early next year," Davis told reporters.

    Earlier in the day, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported a squadron of Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft would be deployed to a US unit in Gunsan, 274 kilometers (171 miles) south of Seoul.

    However, the timeline of the deployment is unclear.

    The deployment comes amid heightened tensions between South Korea over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests. North Korea has tested four ballistic missiles this year after conducting two nuclear tests and 24 missile launches in 2016.

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    MQ-1C Gray Eagle, United States, South Korea
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