Defense

May 24, 2013

UAV pilots maintain situational awareness above battlefield

army-uav2
Unmanned aerial vehicle pilots maintain an “eye-in-the-sky” view providing real-time surveillance high above the battlefield in order to keep Soldiers safe from unexpected “enemy” attacks, at the U.S. Army National Training Center, at Fort Irwin, Calif.

Before putting soldiers in harm’s way, military unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAVs, perform aerial reconnaissance, be it night or day. At night the UAV uses night-vision to find the point of origin of any attack. Some even carry out attack missions. UAVs have many uses, including safely scanning a large area and providing accurate information on potential enemies.

The ground data terminal antenna receives intelligence between the ground control station, or GCS, and the UAV up to 125 kilometers away. The GCS is where the pilots “drive” the UAVs, and is located near the tactical operations center, or TOC, providing vitally important real-time video.

“My Soldiers and I provide a ‘bird’s eye’ view situational awareness for the Soldiers on the ground,” said SSgt. Thomas Tichy, 66th Military Intelligence Company, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. The 3rd ACR is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

“We provide valuable intelligence to our regimental TOC,” he said. “They decide what to do with our intelligence and put it into action.”

Pvt. Aaron Grumm, also of the 66th MI Co., said his mission at NTC is to provide reconnaissance using a wide array of tactical UAVs. The aerial vehicles cover a larger area than regular ground units would cover in the same amount of time.

“If for example, a Soldier would be lost, we would help find them,” said Grumm, “We can search from above covering a larger area faster than a ground team.”

army-uav4

“From high above the ground they can spot someone about to bury an improvised explosive device, or people who are engaging our ground forces,” Tichy said.

Tichy said some of the UAV operators in his company have combat experience using their real-time UAV feed to coordinate with Apache and Kiowa helicopter fire teams to engage anti-coalition forces.

Sgt. Joshua Peterson, also of the 66th MI Company, said his team has direct communication with the TOC and consequently his team is called upon the second there is mortar, artillery fire, or indirect fire directed towards coalition forces.

The vehicle uses a pneumatic launcher upon take-off and is recovered using an arresting hook and cable system similar to the ones used on aircraft carriers. At the conclusion of a mission, once the UAV lands, proper maintenance is conducted to prepare it for any future missions.

Peterson suggests that UAVs are a valuable asset that helps save lives in the combat zone.

“UAVs are the future of warfare,” Peterson said. “Hopefully there will be a time when we can actually go into war without sending any personnel.”

 




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


 
 

 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 
C130b

C-130 Hercules still going strong at 60

Air Force photograph The C-130H Hercules dons the new eight-blade NP-2000 propellers. The 418th Flight Test Squadron replaced the C-130H Hercules’ four-bladed propellers with the eight-bladed propellers in 2008 in support...
 

 
Army photograph by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard

Romania air base replaces Transit Center Manas

Army photograph by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard Oregon Army National Guard, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers from load onto a C-17 Globemaster III Aug. 13, 2013, bound for Afghanistan from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romani...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 
 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 




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>