Navy proposes drone site near Malibu

A new drone base in Point Mugu near Malibu could become a "maintenance hub" for four drones known as Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Triton UAS).

The United States Navy recently revealed plans to station four drones out of its Ventura County Naval Base in Point Mugu, west of Malibu.

Up to 700 new jobs would be created if the plans come to fruition, according to an environment assessment published online. The new drone base would become a home base, “maintenance hub” and flight operations site for four drones known as Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Triton UAS). 

Triton UAS are surveillance aircraft measuring 48 feet long with a 131-foot wingspan. Personnel would conduct an average of five flight operations per day, the assessment states, with takeoffs and landings primarily happening over the Pacific Ocean. 

Drones, unmanned aircraft used for surveillance and airstrikes, have become controversial warfare tools, with President Obama taking heat in recent weeks for employing drone strikes on American citizens overseas.

“The purpose [of the new base] is to enhance the ability to identify and process intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information for Joint Forces and Fleet Commanders during pre-mission planning, mission execution, and post-mission reporting,” according to the report.

Public comments on the proposed base are being taken until March 11