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SPECIAL FORCES ENLIST UAV FOR AIRLIFTS

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, have been used to snoop on Baathist bigwigs and to take out Al Qaeda operatives. Now, U.S. Special Operations Command is starting to use flying drones to transport ammunition, medicine, and soldiers' gear.The SnowGoose UAV doesn't look like much -- a round-nosed trunk with a single propeller and a parachute. And it doesn't move very fast -- the SnowGoose has a maximum speed of just 35 knots.But the drone, launched from the back of a Humvee or another plane, can get up to 18,000 feet in the air, and is virtually undetectable about 2,000 feet, its makers say.There are situations where the SnowGoose could be most helpful to Special Forces, a Defense Department UAV specialist noted. Take the nightmarish "Black Hawk Down" scenario. The Rangers didn't bring their night-vision gear when they went on their fateful mission in Mogadishu. The drone could have dropped see-in-the-dark goggles to them, delivered plasma, and dropped much-needed ammunition.

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