Story and photos by Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Ten Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, attended Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV, training, here, Aug. 21.
Instructors from the Small Unmanned Aircraft School at Fort Benning, Ga., conducted the training.
The Raven UAV is a small, hand-launched system capable of 90-minute flight times on battery power with a range of more than 10 kilometers. Launching the Raven is similar to throwing a free-flight model airplane into the air.
“The Raven payload includes an infrared camera system to allow night operation as well as front and side day cameras,” said Sgt. Gustavo Nogueira, instructor, Small Unmanned Aircraft School. “There is also a laser illuminator that allows targets to be designated from the air to allow ground troops to identify and engage targets.”
“This system was employed by the brigade during the last deployment to Iraq,” said Chief Warrant Officer Matt Roman, master Raven trainer, 2nd SBCT. “It provides situational awareness to the commander instantaneously from an aerial perspective.”
The system is portable and can be deployed into a combat situation by a two-man team.
“The system is rucksack portable and can be launched within 15 minutes from the ground or a moving tacticle vehicle,” Nogueira said. “A two-man team is capable of launching and conducting Raven missions from anywhere on the battlefield.”
Information can be gathered and relayed instantly to a ground commander.
“This system provides the commander with a bird’s eye view of the battleground and can be used for reconnaissance, survelliance and target acquisition among other capabilities,” Nogueira said.
The training provided Soldiers with a realistic view of the system’s capabilities on the battlefield.
“We can throw one of these up and get eyes on target,” said Sgt. Zachery Kumler, and cavalry scout with the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd SBCT. “It provides us with valuable intel, such as the GPS coordinates of a target.”
“This training will help Soldiers understand the capabilities of the system and enable them to coordinate targets and perform reconnaissance for the command,” Roman said.
Training such as this is another way the 2nd SBCT is preparing Soldiers to conduct contingency missions in the Pacific region to ensure security.
“This system is another way we are able to meet the commander’s intent,” Kumler said. “We can use this to provide full-spectrum intelligence on a target to the commander in an instant.”