Local

August 23, 2012

15W UAS operators learn ground, flight skills on FH

Tags:
By Amy Sunseri, Natalie Lakosil and Joan Vasey

Soldiers from the Australian Army train with members of Company D, 2-13th Aviation Regiment, and learn the military occupational specialty 15W, unmanned aircraft systems operator skills. Due to the advantages of using unmanned aircraft for many kinds of operations, there has been a steady increase in demand for UAS operators worldwide.

Typically, Fort Huachuca enjoys more than 300 days a year of favorable unmanned aircraft systems flying weather due to the sunshine in its arid desert location. On top of that, there is available airspace and infrastructure at the airfield at the Black Tower training facility available to support UAS operations. Due to this, Soldiers entering into the military occupational specialty 15W, unmanned aircraft systems operators, learn their craft on the installation. This includes both on-the-ground and flight training.

Originally, the UAS MOS, 15W, formerly known as 96U, was assigned to the Army’s Military Intelligence branch from 1993 to 2006, explained Bob Swann, 15W Common Core course manager, Department of the Army civilian. Today, 15W training falls under the 2-13th Aviation Regiment, a tenant unit on Fort Huachuca. The brigade’s headquarters and command staff is located at Fort Rucker, Ala.

The UAS operator’s course is currently 21 weeks long and consists of two phases. There are approximately 20 students per class, with three classes per month, which train a total of 864 students a year, according to Walter Rice, supervisory training instructor, UAS.

“The UAS operator supervises or operates the UAS, such as the Army’s Shadow unmanned aircraft system, to include mission planning, mission sensor/payload operations, launching, remotely piloting, and recovering the aerial vehicle,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Beal, 15W course instructor.

Training consists of fundamental tasks associated with the processes of their missions, as well as the operational role of the UAS within the scope of reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition missions, explained Rice. Students also learn how to identify targets and combat equipment on the battlefield.

“The Federal Aviation Administration Unmanned Ground School (UGS) module provides the student with the basic aeronautical knowledge and skills to successfully and safely operate a UAS in the national/tactical airspace,” Rice added.

Instructors here seem passionate about the skills they teach, and one Soldier explained why he teaches.

“I wanted to teach so I could basically influence new Soldiers coming into the MOS,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Allen, 15W instructor, Company D, 2-13th Aviation Regiment.

“I started off as a different MOS, I was an air defender, then I [reclassified]. They were downsizing, so my recruiter pointed out UAV. I did my homework on it. It was pretty new [in 2005], and I wanted to be on board with it.”

Allen later requested the opportunity to teach. He was assigned to teach Common Core “which is great. It is the first block … and they get map reading and basic Unmanned Scout Operations skills. … We teach [the students] and they build off that [learning] throughout their military career. “It is nice to know I had a part in that,” he said.

Allen explained that learning the MOS is much more involved than sitting in a classroom.

“The students are not just in one setting the whole time. … Here you go from common core, then to UGS, then to in-place/displace [where they learn to prepare UASs for launch],” he said. A few weeks later, students go out to the flight line, learn to fly, are assigned to a unit where they put their training into practice. “I think the variety of it helps [learning] out a lot.”

Pvt. Michael Delgado has been training in the 15W MOS since July.

“I believe UAS systems are the forefront of aviation and not only aviation, but probably military technology. To be put in the thick of things right here is pretty incredible,” he said.

“I want to make a career out of it, I want to go to my unit and perform the best job that I can, and aviation is definitely a field I want to go into.”

Pfc. Robert Light, 15W, is also thinking about future employment.

“I will probably make it a career for I know there are lots of opportunities for it [UAS operator] in the civilian world too, so I will just explore my options while I am in.”

Upon completion of the 15W course, the students will be assigned to their first duty station. Soldiers are typically placed within a brigade combat team based on the Army’s needs, said Beal. He also explained how the MOS benefits the Army.

“With the reduced cost of both the actual aircraft and reduced training costs for operators, [versus] pilots in manned aircraft, the Army benefits in two ways. Additionally, the UAS can remain aloft far longer than a manned aircraft, and there is no cost in terms of human life when the aircraft is lost. In a constrained-cost environment, UAS is the obvious solution to retain capability at the lowest cost,” stated Rice.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Mike Williams

Flooding still underway this year — avoid water runoff problems

Mike Williams Runoff crosses the road during a monsoon storm. Remember to stay safe, and if you see even a small amount of water crossing the roadway, remember to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown!’ While rain in a desert climate...
 
 

Antiterrorism Awareness Month: Army community must stay alert

WASHINGTON — A suspicious package arrives in the mail. An employee is acting erratically. A group is seen surveying an Army installation. A social media contact you’ve never met has taken a keen interest in your unit’s movements. The Army community needs to be aware of their surroundings and report anything that seems out of...
 
 

2014 Antiterrorism Awareness Message

What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist they ought to be ascertained and guarded against. ~ James Monroe, 1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817 August marks the Army’s fifth annual observance of Antiterrorism Awareness Month. Each year, we improve our defenses through increased threat awareness and organizational and individual protection measures. Throughout...
 

 
U.S. Army photo

New Army PT uniforms result of Soldier feedback

U.S. Army photo Capt. Leala McCollum poses in the Army Physical Fitness Uniform running jacket and pants. WASHINGTON — A new Army Physical Fitness Uniform will become available service-wide, beginning in October next year. It...
 
 

How Office of Soldiers’ Counsel can assist with disability proceedings

The Office of Soldiers’ Counsel, OSC, is an organization of judge advocates and Civilian attorneys/paralegals spread out over 30 locations worldwide, with roughly 200 attorneys and paralegals. The organization has representatives ready to assist Soldiers throughout their disability process, with specific counsel for the Medical Evaluation Board, MEB, stage of their case, and other counsel...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Fort holds memorial ceremony for recently retired FH police chief

Maranda Flynn Andrew and Lisa Shears carry the remains of Ollie James Shears, the recently retired chief of police with Fort Huachuca’s Directorate of Emergency Services, into the Main Post Chapel, Fort Huachuca, Aug. 8, for ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin