Protesters at Camp Ripley rallied against the construction of a new, $3.9 million unmanned aerial systems, or drones, training facility Friday. The St. Cloud Times reports drones have been a source of controversy since U.S. military began using them in the Iraq and Afghanistan war.
A protest organizer tells the newspaper she fears as more countries require armed drones, it could trigger an arms race similar to nuclear weapons.
Camp Ripley officials say drone training has occurred there for years but increasing use spurred the need for a new facility. The facility does not use drones with weapon systems.
U.S. law enforcement began using drones in some parts of the country including the Grand Forks Sheriff's Department in North Dakota. The drones are used for standoff situations and crime scenes as well as search and rescue operations.
The Brainerd Dispatch reports a vigil was also held at the event for the International Day of Peace. Activist Coleen Rowly talks with reporters: