The US Navy has opened a new facility, Training and Logistics Support Activity (TALSA) East, at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia.

Opened on 27 July, the new facility is dedicated to train US Navy sailors who will operate the family of small uncrewed aircraft systems (FoSUAS).

It is the first facility opened specifically for uncrewed aircraft operators to complete their SUAS training.

The first official course at TALSA East will be undertaken for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) SkyRaider R80D and is set to commence on 8 August.

Other trainings currently supported at the new facility include Skydio X2D and PD-100 Black Hornet 3.

Furthermore, the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command will also join the Naval Special Warfare community in the next fiscal year to utilise the logistics support and training offered by the TALSA East.

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USMC PMA-263 programme manager colonel Victor Argobright said: “Navy UAS training takes a leap forward today with the opening of this first-of-its-kind facility.

“Our FoSUAS team has been working diligently for nearly two years to provide high-quality training and certifications to our Navy personnel.”

Before the opening of this new centre, the operators received training at one of the four US Marine Corps (USMC) TALSAs, based on seats availability, or directly from the original equipment manufacturer by contractor-lead training.

TALSA East will support centralised storage of supplies, unit systems and maintenance services.

It is also a central location for conducting entry-level SUAS courses for providing initial qualification training for systems that are in use with the operating forces.

The courses schedules at the new facility are flexible and tailored as per the requirements of the students.