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US Navy Plans Drone Base Near Malibu

MALIBU ( — The US Navy plans to build a drone base at an airfield in Point Magu, about 15 miles from Malibu.

Navy Base Ventura County, Point Mugu will add about 700 jobs when the four drones -- called Tritons Unmanned Weapons Systems -- are stationed.

Additional drones from Navy bases around the world would also land and takeoff at the Southern California base.

The planes are 48 feet long and have 138-foot wingspans. They were unveiled at Palmdale last summer, and represent the military's next generation of remote control intelligence gear.

An environmental impact report said about five takeoffs and landings a day would be added at the Navy field. The planes would primarily take off and depart over the ocean, the Navy document said.

An existing fire station would be remodeled to provide quarters to control the planes. In future years, a  new taxiway and hangar would be erected.

Cameras and other remote-control sensors would be operated by military intelligence officers from flight levels altitudes of around 58,000 feet, the Navy said.

Between employees, support staff and families, the project is estimated to bring about 2,380 people to the region.

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