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.


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Advanced Extremely High Frequency system achieves IOC

Gen. John Hyten, the Air Force Space Command commander, declared initial operational capability for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system July 28. The significant achievement reflects collaboration between numerous organizations, including Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Army, Navy and the developers, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The s...
 
 
Navy photograph

Surface-to-surface missile test for LCS successful

Navy photograph Three missiles from a ripple fire response strike their moving targets during an engineering development test of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles. The missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile ...
 

 
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...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 




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>