WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE — Whiteman Air Force Base is gaining about 280 personnel for a new mission involving drone aircraft.
U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, a Democrat, said Monday that the Air Force has decided to make the west-central Missouri base a ground control station for its MQ-1 Predator. The airplanes are used primarily for reconnaissance missions and are operated by pilots who remain on the ground.
Only the personnel will be based at Whiteman; the planes will be deployed elsewhere.
Skelton says he has been working with the Air Force for more than a year to place a Predator control center at Whiteman.