FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) - At 3,600 pounds the ability to fly up to 172 miles per hour, the Gray Eagle is one of the U.S. Army's newest and most advanced high-tech tools patrolling the sky.
The new, larger unmanned aerial vehicle was recognized at Fort Hood for reaching a milestone after the 21st Cavalry Brigade Air Combat unit achieved the 100-hour mark of training.
On Wednesday, Spec. Jacob Presnell performed a training exercise in restricted airspace at Fort Hood. However, the Army says it really soars when deployed over war zones.
"I think it provides more capability to the soldiers on the ground," Col. Neil Hersey said. It gives them better awareness of the battlefield and informs commanders so they can take wise decisions on whether to take action or not to take action on something."
The army is quick to remind people of the difference between these unmanned aerial vehicle and a drone. Drones can be programmed to operate without a pilot, but a UAV always has a human in control.
"I like the fact that we're actually part of the ground unit's mission, saving lives," Presnell said. "We're keeping them safe and also finding the enemies and beating them to them."
The unmanned aircraft offer a bird's eye view and a critical edge in battle, helping to increasing the odds of soldiers coming home.
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