Marine Corps Wants Reaper Drone to Provide Overwatch for Helmand

As a new rotation of Marines begins advisory work in the Taliban hotbed of Helmand province, Afghanistan, service leaders are working to get them better dedicated eyes in the sky to locate and eliminate enemy fighters.

Naval Air Systems Command is moving forward with plans to lease an MQ-9 Reaper drone from General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems for up to 12 months to support the Corps’ Task Force Southwest in Helmand, according to a presolicitation notice issued earlier in January.

Such an asset would allow the Marines to conduct more persistent overwatch within Helmand without having to coordinate with other services, such as the Air Force, to secure the required…

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