Defense

February 8, 2013

Divisions will get 9 Gray Eagles to train, but deploy with 12

Tags:
C. Todd Lopez
Army News

An MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft makes its way down an airfield on Camp Taji, Iraq, before a surveillance mission in the Baghdad area, in this undated file photo. The Army plans additional Gray Eagle units, one for each of 10 active-duty divisions, and several more for special operations units, aerial exploitation units and the National Training Center.

The Army plans additional Gray Eagle units, one for each of 10 active-duty divisions, and several more for special operations units, aerial exploitation units and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

With the current program of record, a purchase of 152 Gray Eagles in total, the Army won’t have enough of the aircraft to give a full assignment of 12 aircraft to every one of the divisions it plans on equipping; so some may get as few as nine aircraft. But when those units go downrange, they will get a full component, Army aviation officials said.

“The plan is, when a Gray Eagle company deploys, like we have downrange now with F-227 (Aviation), they would deploy with a full complement of three platoons of four aircraft, or 12 aircraft total,” said Col. Timothy Baxter, project manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, during a media roundtable, Feb. 4.
Those extra aircraft would come from other units who are not deploying.

“[U.S. Army Forces Command] would task organize from other Gray Eagle companies to make sure when they are deployed in harm’s way, they would have a full 12,” said Jeff Crabb, deputy product manager, Medium Altitude Endurance UAS. “That’s the current strategy.”

The direction to equip the combat aviation brigades within all Army divisions with the Gray Eagle came from Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno. But the Army plans to buy 152 of the aircraft to distribute among those units.

“The only way you could do that without buying more assets is to reduce the numbers,” Crabb said.

The Army has contracted for 103 Gray Eagles to date.

Today, the Army has one Gray Eagle company already deployed, Company F, 227th Combat Aviation Brigade, or CAB, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
While deployed in Afghanistan, it is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Company F, 227th CAB, is equipped now with 12 aircraft, and will retain all 12 when it returns home sometime within the next two months. The 1st Cavalry Division also has an additional company of 12 Gray Eagle aircraft, Company E, 227th Combat Aviation Brigade.

Another company, Company F, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan., also with 12 Gray Eagles, will replace F-227 within the next 90 days, officials said. They now have an advance party already in theater, and are preparing to deploy soon.

Also in Afghanistan now are two “quick reaction capability” units, each with four Gray Eagle aircraft. Those two QRC units have been deployed since 2009. The first was deployed initially to Operation Iraqi Freedom and stayed though until the end of Operation New Dawn before moving on to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom. The second QRC has always been in Afghanistan.

The Army is also fielding another company to the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga. And by October, another to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The 160th may end up with two companies of 12 aircraft each.

Baxter said it’s been a “busy year” for the Gray Eagle program, which has culminated with the director of operational testing and evaluation publishing a “beyond low rate initial production” report for Gray Eagle IOT&E that was conducted last July and August.

The report “deemed us effective, operationally suitable, and meeting our survivability and force protection key performance parameters on the program,” Baxter said. Additionally, he said, a “number of recommendations” came out of the Beyond LRIP report, involving maturing tactics, techniques and procedures on the Gray Eagle program, improving training on the program, improving doctrine across the Army on the program with respect to Gray Eagle and all UAS, and also maturing the manned/unmanned teaming capabilities.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 29, 2015

News: Lockheed F-35s reliability found wanting in shipboard testing¬†– The Marine Corps’ version of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter demonstrated poor reliability in a 12-day exercise at sea, according to the U.S. military’s top testing officer.   Business: Rockwell Collins to upgrade Boeing comms system¬†– Rockwell Collins will upgrade the low-frequency transmi...
 
 

News Briefs July 29, 2015

U.S. Navy examines health concerns near Guantanamo court A complaint lodged with the Pentagon has prompted the U.S. Navy to look into the possible presence of anything that may cause cancer in a section of the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a military spokeswoman said July 28. The Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center and...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 

 

Remains of Pearl Harbor victims raised for identification

The military July 27 exhumed more caskets containing the unidentified remains of USS Oklahoma crew members killed in the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred five coffins from four grave sites at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, where they have rested for decades. The work is...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing Oklahoma City expansion grows facilities, business presence

Boeing photograph July 29, Boeing broke ground on a new laboratory facility in Oklahoma City. Mayor Mick Cornett, Commissioner Brian Maughan, President of Boeing Global Services and Support Leanne Caret, Oklahoma Governor Mary ...
 
 

NASA awards contract to support agency’s human spaceflight programs

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories Inc., of El Segundo, Calif., to provide biomedical, medical and health services in support of all human spaceflight programs at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The work supports ongoing research aboard the International Space Station and helps enable the journey to Mars. The Human Health and Performance contract...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>