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.


 
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 
 
LM-C130

U.S. Air Force receives additional MC-130J Commando II

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 27, 2015 – A crew from the U.S. Air Force Aug. 27 ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command to Cannon Air Force Base, N.., from the Lockheed Martin facilit...
 

 
af-uav4

Arming the RPAs

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Joseph Swafford A1C Matthew Lopez (center), 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron munitions systems technician, builds a GPS-guided GBU-49 bomb at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2015...
 
 
dragon-lady1

Local efforts help keep Dragon Lady flying at 60

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings A U-2 Dragon Lady soars above the flightline at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. The low-altitude handling characteristics of the aircraft and bicycle-type lan...
 
 
Air Force photograph

U.S. Navy awards production contract for additional P-8A aircraft, first RAAF planes

Air Force photograph A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft parked on the tarmac during a BALTOPS 2015 mission on the flightline of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2015. The U.S. Navy awarded a nearl...
 




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>