YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. -- For a Soldier in battle, the full knowledge of the terrain and the known location of enemy combatants is key to ensuring victory. While the human body can't launch into the sky to observe the battlefield, the advances in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) help to fill the gap by becoming the Soldier's "eyes in the sky."Operators and maintainers of the Shadow UAS from the 7th Infantry Division recently trained with their aerial "eyes" during exercise Bayonet Focus 17-03. The training takes place from June 15 -- 29 at the Yakima Training Center, Wash. The Soldiers provide imagery support for units conducting the exercise, helping to provide more realistic training for UAS personnel and service members in the field."This is different than training back at Joint Base Lewis-McChord because we are in a more tactical setting and we move a lot faster," said Spc. Brysen Borja, a UAS operator with 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. "The biggest difference is that we are always receiving a mission from a unit somewhere to get eyes on targets or help them find something."This imagery saves lives, according to Borja. With the imagery, units under attack can redirect and engage the enemy using the most accurate information possible."As far as the Soldiers on the ground are concerned, the Shadow [UAS] helps them visualize the battlefield as well as help them conduct reconnaissance," said 1st Lt. Kimberly Covey, UAS platoon leader with 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. "They know where the enemy is located; this enables them to plan better and conduct their operations."When the operators and maintainers are not flying the Shadows, they are doing training on Forward Operating Base tactics and defense, said Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Page, Brigade Aviation Element UAS Representative for 2-2 Stryker Brigade Contact Team. This training helps them to prepare for wartime operations, when they must be proficient and able to rely on themselves.The training definitely stresses the aircraft and Soldiers in different ways due to the environment, said Page, but the experience is beneficial for both the Soldiers and the equipment.This was the first time the platoon has conducted their operations on an expeditionary landing strip, Covey said. The UAS airfield was recently built at Yakima Training Center, and the platoon has been testing it out for the 7th Infantry Division."555th Engineer Brigade did a really good job," said Page. "The airfield is a great expeditionary-type airfield. This is something that you would see in a real-world scenario where you just gained airspace and land."The training also provided an additional opportunity for the platoons to see what it is like to operate with two platoons on one site, according to Covey. This is a training scenario that doesn't happen very often, so the platoons took full advantage of the experience."It has been beneficial seeing how two platoons working side by side can get multiple aircraft in the air, especially when we are sharing a limited amount of space," Covey said. "It has great experience and I get a glimpse of what we would experience down range with multiple platoons in one area.""We have come a long way in the past couple days," Page said. "A lot of gaps have been filled."Borja agreed that training helps ensure that he and his fellow Soldiers will excel at their jobs. His dedication to the training comes from a firm belief that he will be able to help those in need when the time comes."I love helping people," said Borja. "Being in the air and trying to help units in any way possible is one of the best ways I can help someone. That's my motivation."