By 1st Lt. Aileen Farrell 4th STB, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. PAOJuly 23, 2008
TALLIL AIR BASE, Iraq - The Long Knife Brigade's unmanned aerial vehicle platoon is running missions at its new location here and immediately making improvements.
The UAV provides valuable, real-time information and video feeds to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division headquarters by using remotely controlled cameras.
A new launch and recovery area is being established, which offers tactical communications tools and maintenance facilities for running 24-hour operations.
"I really like the (new location), even though everything isn't finished," said Spc. Cayla McMahon, an air vehicle operator (pilot) and native of Grapevine, Texas. "I think it will be a great place for us to conduct operations while we are here."
The platoon completed eight flights at the new site while supporting the outgoing 1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div, and accumulated 21 flight hours during its first week of operations.
"When the site is finished, we will be able to have everything at our fingertips in order to get the mission done," said Staff Sgt. Scott Kuhn, a mission commander and Shadow unmanned aerial system operator, and native of Stuartville, Minn.
Getting the Shadow Platoon up and running has been a battalion-level effort since the Long Knife Brigade arrived to Iraq approximately one month ago.
"(I'm excited to see) the future expansion of the site and how it will allow for flexibility of future missions," said Chief Warrant Officer Adam Morton, a Shadow UAS warrant officer and native of Brownsville, Texas.
The Soldiers in the Shadow Platoon are excited to get to work and use the training they received at Ft Hood, Texas for the last year and a half and during two training center rotations.