WASHINGTON—Providing the unmanned aerial vehicles with ample space to gather and fly around unfettered, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Wednesday setting aside nearly 2,000 square miles of airspace over western Montana as a federally protected free-range drone preserve, sources confirmed. “These are truly impressive and majestic aircraft, and they deserve a sanctuary where they can soar freely without fear of RF jamming or surface-to-air missiles,” said Obama, who described the remote region as “prime drone habitat,” explaining how it was selected for its abundant reserves of high-octane jet fuel and crystal-clear satellite uplink connections. “Here, all types of drones—from the large and magnificent Global Hawk to the wide variety of lively short-range mini UAVs—will be free to engage in their beautiful natural behavior of surveilling, tracking targets on the ground, and neutralizing them.” Following several early incidents, White House sources confirmed that MQ-1 Predator drones would be kept in their own designated portion of the preserve to separate them from the less aggressive varieties.

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