Air Force general visits MSU

STARKVILLE — On April 7 at Mississippi State University (MSU), a three-star U.S. Air Force general said the university will assist in a “continual partnership” to help with some highly specialized research.

Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula was among others on campus to discuss mission needs related to research technologies required for developing military aircraft controlled by operators in remote locations. He is responsible for helping lead the military branch’s programs in policy and planning.

His remarks came on the first of a two-day Air Force-sponsored academic conference on unmanned aircraft systems and remotely piloted aircraft. On hand were officials of MSU, host for the event, and other military leaders, members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation and representatives of aerospace industries.

“We want to tap intellectual capital in universities,” Deptula said. “We have a common goal, the defense of our nation.”

Deptula specifically cited MSU as a key resource to assist with research because of its capabilities. The university’s aerospace engineering department and its Raspet Flight Research Laboratory long have been involved in national aviation research and its relationship to economic development.

Deptula and other military leaders at the conference spoke about the need to integrate remotely piloted aircrafts into each of the key Air Force missions. They said issues related to safety, security and other factors require partnerships with researchers at universities such as MSU that have expertise in the field to help achieve these goals.

David Shaw, vice president of MSU’s Office of Research and Economic Development, said the conference also is enabling considerable networking opportunities between university researchers and military leaders.

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