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Palazzo tours Northrop Grumman's unmanned systems center

MOSS POINT - U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi, spent time this morning touring Northrop Grumman's state-of-the-art Unmanned Systems Center and plans to return to Washington, D.C., to educate his colleagues on the importance of the unmanned aerial vehicles that now share the skies with manned passenger aircraft.

"We're just here to check out the assets that we have on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Palazzo said of his tour of where the unmanned aerospace vehicles are being built. "Being a citizen soldier, being a part of the Mississippi Army National Guard, having a lot of friends who have gone to Afghanistan, we know the global war on terror in Afghanistan starts right here where we build these aircraft and ship them over there and it helps the men and women on the ground."

As chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Palazzo said he believes the program is an asset not only to Mississippi but nationwide. As part of military operations, he said, the unmanned vehicles can be used in border patrol operations and drug interdiction investigations. The program, he said, "saves lives..."

The Sun Herald updates this story in Thursday's print and online editions.