News: UAV upgrades increase mission readiness
FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers with 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division recently conducted a three week-long training exercise on new equipment at Fort Hood.
The platoon trained on RQ-7B “Shadow” Unmanned Aerial Systems, which are tactical intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance platforms. The Shadow provides near real time full motion video to commanders to help them understand their operating environments.
The Shadow was recently upgraded to improve maintenance turnaround time, increase flight endurance and provide extended communication range for radio equipment. Additionally, the system has an updated engine to increase fuel efficiency.
The training prepares the soldiers for future deployments and introduces the troops to the new components.
“This training is allowing us to progress our people to get ready to deploy,” said Sgt. Shawn Kentch, a native of Werrensburg, Mo. “Hands on experience is the only way to learn the equipment, which we don’t get unless we go to the field, so being able to come out here really brings it back to the surface.”
Those that helped launch an aircraft June 18 said it was a cool experience; one that they enjoyed.
“It went pretty good,” said Pfc. Thomas Arnette, from Knoxville, Tenn. “It makes you a little nervous the first few times you do it.”
Besides providing valuable education for troops in the battalion, the training fosters cohesion and a sense of camaraderie. Each person had a job to do, whether it was monitoring video surveillance, keeping lines of communication open or clearing the airspace.
The atmosphere was light while the soldiers worked on the equipment. They swapped stories of previous days in the field and watched as the team on the airstrip readied the UAS for launch.
“This brings the platoon together and provides real life experience,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Armer, from Alpena, Ark. “I couldn’t ask for a better platoon than what I have now.”
Date Posted:06.29.2012 15:46
Location:FORT HOOD, TX, US
Hometown:KNOXVILLE, TN, US
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