By SSG Matthew J. Bryant
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st ABCT
RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, South Korea - Cavalry Scouts have many tools in their toolkits to perform reconnaissance, including hand-launched small unmanned aerial vehicles known as "Ravens."
Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, trained to use the Ravens over the course of two weeks during the month of July, in conjunction with M2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle gunnery tables.
Spc. Steven Vawter, a cavalry scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Sqdn., 7th Cav. Reg., acted as the primary Raven operator during the training event.
"I am very passionate about Raven training," said Vawter. "To the point that I'm thinking about changing my MOS (military occupational specialty) to 15W, unmanned aerial vehicle operator."
During the training, the Squadron accumulated more than 60 flight hours - 50 hours and 15 minutes of which were flown by Vawter.
"I was amazing to see how many hours Specialist Vawter was able to fly the Raven," said Sgt. Michael Deremiah, electronic warfare specialist, 1st Sqdn, 7th Cav. Reg. "Fifty hours and 15 min is very impressive."
Raven SUAVs are designed to be ground-launched by an assistant operator and are intended to be flown at altitudes up to 500 feet and have a maximum range of about 6.2 miles, or 10 km.
Operators got the opportunity to accrue flight hours on multiple aircraft during this training. Soldiers flew the small UAVs over the Warrior Valley Live Fire Area at Rodriguez Range, allowing them to observe and report targets to the Bradley crews conducting gunnery directly below the aircraft.