US Army Deploys MQ-1Q Gray Eagle UAVs to Philippines

A US Army ground technician from Company D, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, guides an MQ-1C Gray Eagle into position following completion of a mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on August 1,2017. The US Embassy in Manila announced yesterday that the type has now also been deployed to the Philippines. US Army/Capt Stephen James

US ARMY MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned air vehicles are currently operating in the Philippines.  Announcing the move yesterday, September 11, the US Embassy in Manila said they have been deployed to Mindanao for additional surveillance in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counterterrorism efforts.  The embassy statement notes that, compared to current surveillance platforms used in the region, the Gray Eagle has a longer flight duration which will enable a larger area of reconnaissance and surveillance.

Over the past three years the US has provided the Philippines with assistance valued at over Php15 billion, to establish better command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for the AFP.  Recent deliveries include a Raven tactical unmanned aircraft system and two Cessna-208B Grand Caravan surveillance aircraft, as well as various munitions and weapons to support urgent defence and counter-terrorism needs.  The two Cessna 208Bs, which were formally handed over on July 28 at Villamor Air Base, are to be used for maritime surveillance and coastal photo-reconnaissance.