Defense

June 10, 2013

Academy cadets operate small unmanned aircraft systems

Tags:
Melanie Holochwost
Hurlburt Field, lLa.

U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet 2nd Class Warren Saunders launches an RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft system during an initial qualification training course June 5, 2013, at Choctaw Airfield, Fla. The Raven is a lightweight, low-altitude SUAS that provides real-time imagery directly to the user.

Eleven U.S. Air Force Academy cadets learned to operate RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft systems, or SUAS, during an initial qualification training course at Choctaw Airfield, Fla., June 3-14.

The RQ-11B Raven is a lightweight and low-altitude, remotely piloted system that provides real-time imagery. Similar in size and shape to a baseball bat, Ravens are designed to be flown beyond a visual line-of-site from a position of cover or concealment.

“This is the first time Academy cadets have attended this course,” said Maj. Trevor Laribee, the Det. 1, 371st Special Operations Combat Training Squadron commander. “They will go into their third or fourth year at the Academy and provide other cadets familiarization flights with the Raven and give them an opportunity to hone tactical and operational skills.”

Cadet 2nd Class Warren Saunders, who has been flying private airplanes with his dad since he was 6 years old, said he volunteered to attend the 10-day course.

“Air Force Special Operations Command donated several Ravens to our program, so we came here to learn about them,” the aspiring fighter pilot said. “We plan to take this knowledge back to the Academy and teach it to about 30 other cadets.”

U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet 2nd Class Warren Saunders throws a baseball bat during an RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft system initial qualification training course at Choctaw Airfield, Fla, June 5, 2013. Students practiced throwing a baseball bat several times before they launched a SUAS to avoid unnecessary damages and repairs. The baseball bat is similar in shape and weight to the actual RQ-11B Raven.

Saunders said he’s glad he attended the course and is impressed with the instruction.

“Although we are only a few days into the training, I’m confident that I’ll be able to at least teach the basics,” he said.

Laribee said this course is important because some units in combat may not always have access to airborne manned or unmanned reconnaissance crews and assets.

“SUAS gives ground commanders the ability to collect actionable intelligence within the unit,” he said. “These air vehicles can reach out to 20 kilometers and provide color and infrared video directly to the user.”

There are many opportunities for interested candidates to learn about SUAS, Laribee said.

“There are courses here and on the Eglin (Air Force Base) range every week,” he said. “The current student throughput is 250 to 300 per year and has exceeded 500 based on unit requirements. We also plan to train up to 72 USAFA cadets next year.”

In addition to the valuable training, enlisted students earn college credit upon completion of the course.

“The Joint Formal Training Unit obtained Community College of the Air Force accreditation in April 2013,” Laribee said. “Students receive three credit hours of CCAF elective credit, aiding the Air Force, and Special Operations Command, warriors in obtaining degrees for professional development.”




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


 
 

 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberĂ­...
 
 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello briefs attendees April 16, 2014, on how today’s budget environment is driving change for both government and industry as part of the Air Force Associati...
 
 
DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

U.S., Poland defense leaders find new areas for cooperation

DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a press briefing with Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak at the Pentagon, April 17, 2014. Amid deep concerns about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge

Air Force researchers test Google Glass for battlefield use

Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge Dr. Gregory Burnett, middle, and Andres Calvo, right, analyze a graphic representation of movement trackers, as 2nd Lt. Krystin Shanklin tests Google Glass at Wright-Patterson Air Force ...
 




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>