By 1st Lt. Maxwell H. Flanagan, C Troop, 1st Squadron, 2d Cavalry RegimentApril 27, 2016
SINAI, Egypt -- Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Task Force War Eagle, are spearheading the integration of the Army's remote-operated Force Protection Systems during a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Peninsula.
TF War Eagle is deployed to the Sinai Peninsula in support of Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). For the MFO, TF War Eagle is responsible for remote sites, the administration of the MFO South Camp, a mobile observation team, various force protection missions and providing special response teams.
Although TF War Eagle is deployed to Egypt as part of a peacekeeping mission, the rise of an Islamic State-aligned insurgency in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula is prompting the task force's leadership and the Department of Defense to review U.S. troop involvement in the mission. This review of U.S involvement has yielded a decision to "automate" the mission by monitoring activity along the Israeli-Egypt border using remotely operated systems rather than American personnel on the ground.
There are two primary remote-operated systems that TF War Eagle is using to usher in the automated change: Containerized Weapon Systems (CWS) and Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment (RAID) cameras.
The CWS system can be described as a "weapons system in a box" as it contains a mast mounted Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). The standard CROWS come equipped with a daytime camera and a night camera that can see through the darkness.
The CWS not only keeps U.S. Soldiers out of the harsh elements of the desert, but it also provides early warning of any threats against the perimeter. Furthermore, the system allows U.S. Soldiers to observe much further outside the camp's perimeter than the naked eye would allow.
Capt. Mark Bedrin, Apache Troop commander and TF War Eagle's Force Protection Commander at MFO's North Camp, said, "The CWSs are a catalyst for the [automated] change. The MFO emplaced the CWSs as a direct fire system and developed techniques to enhance their advantages."
In addition to the CWSs at North Camp, the task force is employing RAID towers around the camp to further enhance force protection. They have made ground-breaking improvements in Base Defense Procedure by integrating the CWS with the RAID towers into a single common operating picture (COP).
With this technology, operators of the RAID towers can observe a potential threat on the horizon and then designate the threat on the COP. Subsequently, the CWS operators are automatically notified of the threat through the COP. TF War Eagle is the first unit in the U.S. Army to integrate these two remote-operated force protection systems.
Due to the rise of an insurgent faction in the Sinai Peninsula, TF War Eagle is being forced to evolve in order to accomplish its mission. The task force's evolution has manifested itself in the ground-breaking use of remote-operated force protection systems in conjunction with each other.