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White Sands Missile Range commander visits NMSU UAS hangar for familiarization tour

Brig. Gen. John G. Ferrari, commanding general, White Sands Missile Range, visited the New Mexico State University Physical Science Lab and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Hangar for a familiarization tour last week.

Two men in the New Mexico State University Unmanned Aerial System Hangar look at a briefing poster as the briefer, Dennis "Zak" Zaklan, gestures towards the
Brig. Gen. John G. Ferrari, commanding general, White Sands Missile Range, listens to a briefing about NMSU's Flight Test Center, given by Dennis "Zak" Zaklan from NMSU's Physical Science Lab, as Timothy Hale, New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services cabinet secretary, listens. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services Cabinet Secretary Timothy Hale also participated in the visit.

"We had a great exchange of information related to the unmanned aircraft program at the university," said Steve Hottman, associate dean/deputy director of PSL. "There is excitement to move forward with the relationships that we have in place and to continue working towards expanding the unique capabilities in this region."

During the tour, Ferrari and Hale saw the many unmanned aircraft systems that NMSU operates and learned of their capabilities. One topic discussed was the Vulture II Program. NMSU is working with the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Boeing on some aspects of the development and testing on this unmanned aircraft system, which has a wingspan of approximately 400 feet and is planned to operate continuously for five years.

Following the tour of the hangar, the group returned to the NMSU campus in Las Cruces for a tour of the Phyical Science Lab including the NASA Subortial Center of Excellence, discussions about several PSL initiatives and the long professional relationship White Sands and PSL have.

"White Sands has been successfully enhancing our National Security for more than 67 years because of our relationship with NMSU. We will be successful for the next 67 years because of this great relationship and NMSU's unique capabilities," Ferrari said. "Our futures, and the security of our Nation, are intertwined."