Defense

September 20, 2013

Shadows provide mission support from sky

Tags:
Spec. Joshua Edwards
FOB Pasab, Afghanistan

army-uav1
On a narrow stretch of road fashioned into a runway at Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan, soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Combined Task Force Dragoon, launch unmanned aircraft to safely maintain a view of the battlefield from the sky.

The soldiers run 24-hour-a-day operations out of the airfield, in order to keep situational awareness at all times in support of friendly forces who could be conducting missions anywhere in the area of operations.

The RQ7B Shadow Technical Unmanned Aircraft System allows the troops to maintain communications during operations and follows movements through video feed and infrared technology. The team provides intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance for the task force’s 1st, 3rd, and 4th Squadrons.
army-uav2
The Shadow system’s maintenance, technical inspections and maintenance quality control are the responsibilities of one person. This person is in charge of handling tasks including pushing the aircraft to the launcher and loading it, conducting pre-flight checks to ensure flight services are in order and aircraft components work correctly, pressurizing the launcher, launching and landing of the aircraft, conducting post-flight inspections to ensure the aircraft has sustained no damage while in flight, making sure the engine is in good working order and changing the fluids.

The Shadow aircraft is flown every hour, and all maintenance performed is logged into a data system that can be tracked in the future.
army-uav3
SFC Brock Niehaus, from Smithville, Mo., and platoon sergeant for the team, is responsible for handling administrative data for the platoon, flight schedules, ensuring shifts run properly and acts as a liaison between the platoon and civilians working with them. He assists in the maintenance and launching of the aircraft and implements safety standards.

Through the use of the aircraft, the team provides support to soldiers on the ground with a number of resources that continuously give U.S. and coalition forces the edge on today’s modern battlefield.

“We provide [intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance] coverage for convoys, route surveillance, [points of interest] reconnaissance; provide over-watch for the engineers during route clearance and general surveillance of the area,” said Niehaus. “[The platoon] is consistently performing at a very high standard.”




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by Marie Berberea

Sill simulator trains Stinger crews

Army photograph by Marie Berberea Army National Guardsmen Spec. Gabe Lindley of North Dakota holds a Man-Portable Air Defense System while Spc. Stephen Shafer from Ohio points to a possible enemy aircraft. The two trained Aug. ...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

AEDC and AFRL collaborate to make advances in hypersonic technology

Air Force photograph by Mike Smith As part of the U.S.-German cooperative program known as Hypersonic International Flight Experimentation, an integrated aerodynamic and aerothermal test and analysis of a hypersonic cruise vehi...
 
 

Minuteman III rocket motor aging surveillance test completed at AEDC

Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel completed testing of a Minuteman III Stage II motor in the Complex’s J-6 Large Rocket Test Facility for aging surveillance of the 48-year-old defense program. “The Stage II motor is part of the Minuteman III Aging and Surveillance test program to obtain motor performance data that is used to identify...
 

 
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...
 




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>