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.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




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>