by Richard Tomkins
Norfolk, Va. (UPI) Feb 16, 2017
U.S. Naval Station Mayport in Florida has been selected by the Navy as the East Coast Forward Operating Base for MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems.
About 400 Triton unmanned aerial system personnel are to be stationed at the base and will support rotational deployments outside the continental United States.
Facility construction will begin this year and the first Triton UAS will arrive at the facility in 2020, the Navy said.
"The MQ-4C Triton's advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities bring enhanced battlespace awareness for the fleet to achieve full spectrum superiority," said Adm. Phil Davidson, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces.
The Navy's Triton UAS fleet is part of the U.S. Navy's Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, which is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.
The MC-4C Triton is manufactured by Northrop Grumman.
The Navy utilizes a "remote split" operational concept -- mission crews are located at a main operating base while the aircraft and their maintenance personnel are located at a forward operating base.
NS Mayport will be the launch and recovery site for four forward-based MQ-4C Triton drones and the consolidated maintenance hub for as many as four additional aircraft.
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