WASHINGTON — Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with Mark Esper, United States Secretary of the Army, to discuss her concerns over a potential relocation of Fort Huachuca’s Unmanned Aerial Systems and other Arizona defense priorities. 
 
“Fort Huachuca is uniquely equipped to house an effective unmanned aircraft training program. The base has desirable weather patterns, protected air space, an academic partnership with Cochise College, and can provide Soldiers real-world flight experience rather than solely relying on simulators. We’ll keep working to strengthen and expand Arizona’s defense capabilities so our brave servicemembers are ready to defend our country when called upon,” said Sinema. 
 
Recently, Sinema visited Fort Huachuca and received briefings on military intelligence, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and CBP Air Marine Operations. She also met with Sierra Vista leaders including members of the Fort Huachuca 50.
 
Fort Huachuca is the U.S. Army’s Intelligence Center of Excellence, producing top Army intelligence Soldiers and officers. Thanks to the open skies of Sierra Vista and the temperate climate, Fort Huachuca is home to the largest unmanned aircraft system training center in the world, with over 350,000 square feet of training space, four hangars, and 24-hour operational capacity, training more than 1,300 students annually. Unmanned aircraft systems are controlled by pilots on the ground and are used by the Army to obtain surveillance and save Soldiers’ lives who would otherwise perform the mission from inside the aircraft.
 
Fort Huachuca partners with Cochise College to award academic credit to Soldiers stationed at the base. The Fort is one of few Army installations to offer this kind of academic program to its servicemembers. Fort Huachuca is the largest employer in Cochise County and it has the largest economic impact of any military installation in Arizona. In 2017, Arizona estimated Fort Huachuca is directly or indirectly responsible for more than 21,000 jobs, nearly $1 billion in wages, and $2.9 billion in output. In 2016, Fort Huachuca had a population of about 5,000 active duty servicemembers, 7,400 military family members, and 6,800 civilian employees.
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