Unmanned aerial vehicle to provide battlefield intelligence

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Soldiers may someday have a new set of eyes on the battlefield thanks to a small unmanned aerial vehicle so new that it doesn’t yet have a name.

The “battlefield” where the unmanned aerial vehicle is currently being evaluated and employed in training exercises is the National Training Center here at Fort Irwin. The vehicle is designed to collect information on an adversary for analysis by cyber operators and military intelligence personnel.

That information is ultimately provided to brigade commanders for their use, according to Maj. Deonand Singh, operations officer for the 781st Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Meade, Maryland.

During actual combat operations, brigade commanders need information quickly, information Singh termed “tactical insights.”

During its most recent employment at the National Training Center, the unmanned vehicle supported 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Riley, Kansas. That unit was on a two-week training rotation at NTC during the first part of August.

The unmanned vehicle conducted reconnaissance of the training scenario’s operational information environment, said Lt. Col. Jon Burnett, chief of Army Cyber Command’s Cyber Support to Corps and Below, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Capt. Samuel Lough, an offensive cyber operations planner for the exercise, said such information gathered from unmanned vehicles and other means can provide useful insight to the commander in an area of operations, once it is analyzed

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