As soon as the helicopter touched the ground on a dusty airfield in southern Afghanistan, the game had been forever changed. After a decade of sending vulnerable, manpower-intensive, fuel-guzzling ground convoys to resupply troops at far-flung combat outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan—and seeing those convoys consistently ambushed, blown up or just delayed—the U.S. Marine Corps had had enough. So, on Dec. 17, 2011, the Corps for the first time delivered supplies to troops using a remotely ...


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