Army

April 12, 2013

Unmanned aerial system Soldiers in Kuwait train to keep ‘eye in the sky’

Spc. John Vance unmanned aerial system mechanic, and UAS operators Spc. Luke North and Spc. Adam Carpio, all assigned to Company A, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, mount an RQ-7B Shadow 200 UAS onto its launcher prior to a training mission at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – “Taking off is a choice, landing never is.”

This is the message Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dustin Hisel, Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operations officer, Company A, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, drills into his unmanned aerial system, or UAS, operators and maintainers daily.

“With any aviation operations attention to detail is crucial,” Hisel said. “If you miss one step in a checklist you’re looking at a potential loss of a ‘bird,’ and possibly a loss of life.”

At Camp Buehring, the UAS Soldiers can fly and maintain the Shadows constantly, honing their skills in preparation for any mission the brigade requires of them, said Hisel.

“I’m a firm believer that flights in support of real-time combat missions are the best training for a [UAS] team,” he said. “The downside is that an inexperienced crew can make a mistake and fail to get Soldiers on the ground the information they need. This deployment is a great opportunity for some of my less-experienced Soldiers to get that experience without the stakes being so high, because we are here to on a partnership mission versus a combat operation.”

UAS Soldiers deploy Shadows to facilitate numerous roles during operations, from long-range reconnaissance, to targeting enemy forces for air or artillery strikes.

An RQ-7B Shadow 200 Unmanned Aerial System, flown by UAS operators assigned to Company A, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, lands safely after a training mission at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. At Camp Buehring the UAS Soldiers can fly and maintain the Shadows constantly, honing their skills in preparation for any mission the brigade requires of them.

Pfc. Alfred Townsend, UAS maintainer with Company A, said he relishes the chance to work with the Shadow and improve his expertise on its systems on a daily basis.

“Coming out here six days a week, touching a ‘bird’ every day, gives us an amount of experience we can’t match at Fort Carson (Colo.),” Townsend said. “We encounter new problems every day, and we find new ways to solve them. We can’t gain that experience from reading a book or a manual; experience has to be gained by doing.”

The UAS platoon’s current training regimen consists of preparing the Shadow for flight, launching it, maintaining a flight pattern and landing safely.

Hisel said their training program will expand into more complex operations as his Soldiers continue to sharpen their skills.

“Back at Fort Carson we would spend two weeks to a month in the field training, and we may spend half that time getting into a good rhythm,” said Spc. John Szymanski, UAS operator with Company A.

“Here at Camp Buehring, we spent the past couple weeks working out all the bugs, and learning local flight procedures. That means we can spend the rest of our time here flying, training and preparing for whatever mission our command passes down to us.”

While flight preparation time varies depending on a flight crew’s experience, Szymanski said a well-trained team can prepare one Shadow while another flies to facilitate continuous UAS operations.

Staff Sgt. John Oehlerking and Spc. John Vance, unmanned aerial system mechanics with Company A, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, perform pre-flight maintenance checks on an RQ-7B Shadow 200 UAS, at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

“Not all of us are at that level yet, but we have some very experienced veterans in this platoon who are squaring us away,” he said.

Hisel said he looks forward to enhancing his Soldiers’ knowledge, skills and proficiency during the platoon’s time at Camp Buehring.

“I expect excellence out of these Soldiers every minute of every day, and I don’t think I could have asked for a better group of people,” Hisel said. “Some of these guys are pretty junior, but we have enough experience to train this platoon to an extremely high standard. I think we have the potential to be the best UAS platoon in the Army.”

The UAS Soldiers of Company A will continue training with the Shadow and perfecting their skills throughout the “Raider” Brigade’s deployment.




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


 
 

 
Maci Hidalgo

Army makes significant strides in energy programs

Maci Hidalgo Steven Lyman, a worker with Triad, a company working on the utility-owned solar array at Fort Huachuca, welds a part onto a support shaft for a solar panel at the 68-acre solar array park adjacent to the Thunder Mo...
 
 

Fort Huachuca showcases energy audit program

October is Energy Awareness Month and it is an appropriate time to describe the programs and services available to those responsible for managing Fort Huachuca’s various facilities. As part of the Army’s Net Zero Program, Fort Huachuca personnel are working to both reduce its energy consumption and to produce more of what people do use...
 
 

Ebola Virus Disease outbreak — know the facts

Ebola Virus Disease, previously known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, was originally discovered in 1976 in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and since its first discovery has appeared sporadically through Africa. It is still unknown how the first human became infected; but, it is suspected the first person was infected...
 

 
Dr. Randal Schoepp

Dempsey says combating Ebola a national security priority

Dr. Randal Schoepp Soldiers working at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 1st Area Medical Laboratory, prepare to leave to set up laboratories to support Operation United Assistance, the U.S. response to the Ebola outb...
 
 

Nominations sought — Lt. Gen. Sidney T. Weinstein Award for excellence In Military Intelligence

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Weinstein Award through March 4, 2015. To be eligible, a candidate must be a Military Intelligence officer of the rank of captain in the Active Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. He or she must have performed actions which positively promote, impact, advance and bring honor to...
 
 
Maci Hidalgo

Six retirees honored Oct. 17 during ceremony on Brown Parade Field

Maci Hidalgo Members of the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion deliver flowers to spouses and Family members during the Fort Huachuca installation retirement ceremony on Brown Parade Field Oct. 17. Flowers were given in recogn...
 




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