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Drone pilots could operate out of Jacksonville

7:12 PM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Drones are taking center stage as the debate continues about President Barack Obama's decision to use one in targeting an American-born member of Al Qaeda in Yemen. The world of drones is hitting close to home, as U.S. Senator Bill Nelson toured a facility at NAS Jacksonville.

NAS JAX is going to be a command training center for drones the Navy plans to use in the future. Pilots will operate the drones from Jacksonville on missions thousands of miles away.

People who are behind drones say they are beneficial because they can go on missions that are too dangerous for humans. But, there are questions about how the government has used them. 

Senator Bill Nelson addressed them Monday morning. 

"This has been going on for years. It has accelerated, but it has allowed the United States to basically decapitate the leadership of Al Qaeda," Nelson said.

We hit the streets looking to see what people thought of using drones and the recent case that targeted the American Al Qaeda member.

"If you're looking for a terrorist and you know you're going to get somebody it might be okay, but I also think villages of innocent people could be killed by using a drone like that, so I think it's a very iffy call," said Sharon Holden.

Senator Nelson said drones are extremely accurate and can target one person without hitting anyone nearby. Nelson said the military is waiting on funding approval before they open the center.

First Coast News

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