Faced with increasing casualties from roadside bombs in Afghanistan, the U.S. military will experiment with remote-controlled, unmanned helicopters to deliver supplies to remote outposts, according to a report Thursday.
The U.S. Navy is seeking a contractor to operate the program, scheduled for 2011, the report in Stars and Stripes said.
“This is a rapid deployment effort being led by the Navy in response to an urgent needs requirement for a Cargo UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) capability in support of Marine Corps forces engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom,” Eric Pratson, leader of the Navy team behind the project, told Stripes.
As the Obama administration begins three days of talks with Pakistani leaders, the two sides will seek to ease tensions over the muscular new U.S. strategy in the region.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the Pakistani army, are leading the their nation's delegation for meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Cameron Munter, the next U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, also will join the talks.