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Army drone disappears during training flight at Arizona base

(U.S. Army Photo)

PHOENIX — An Army base in Arizona has lost track of a drone during an exercise.

Officials at Fort Huachuca, near Sierra Vista in southern Arizona, said the $1.5 million unmanned aircraft had been taking part in a training mission Tuesday when it lost connectivity with the ground station.

In a post to Facebook on Thursday, the Army base noted that if the aircraft crashed, the likelihood was high the Shadow RQ-7Bv2 “disintegrated upon impact.”

The Shadow is a short-range airborne reconnaissance system that can fly about 134 miles and stay aloft for up to nine hours at a time.

The drone weighs 450 pounds.

Area law enforcement, Army Intelligence, Arizona Air National Guard and Border Patrol were helping in the search.

“We’re exhausting all efforts to recover the Shadow UAS and appreciate all the support we’ve received from Fort Huachuca experts and the surrounding community agencies,” Lt. Col. Fredrick O. Williams, a spokesman for the 7th Infantry Division, said.

The 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division was conducting the training mission. The military unit is based in the state of Washington.

Fort Huachuca, home of the Army Intelligence Center, is about 15 miles north of the Mexican border.

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