By Spc. Noelle E. WieheOctober 18, 2017
FORT BENNING, Ga -- Select members of advisor teams with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade trained on the RQ-11B Raven and RQ-20 Puma unmanned aircraft systems for 15 days at several locations on Kelley Hill on Fort Benning, Georgia.
The UAS systems are used to provide advisor teams with a readily accessible UAS asset for force protection and to help enable the host nation forces the Soldiers are working with during a mission, said Maj. Matt Hertz, brigade aviation officer, 1st SFAB.
Staff Sgt. Rhoebbie Bray, 3rd Battalion, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 1st SFAB said the UASs are helpful for reconnaissance of the areas they are in by the combat advisor teams.
"They can look at the area before they physically have to go out there," Bray said.
The training was the Soldiers' first exposure to the UASs. They were selected to learn the systems through hands-on training so that they can train Soldiers at their units.
"It's different; it's outside of my [military occupational specialty]," Bray said. "I don't know how many 42As [human resources specialist] fly Ravens."
The Soldiers learned airspace management; how the system operates; setup of the system; how to conduct a preflight inspection; handing off control of the aircraft between two ground-control systems and then they conducted missions.
The Raven has a 10-kilometer range and an hour-long battery life, while the Puma has a 20-kilometer range and a two hour battery life, Herrington said. The Puma is also waterproof and both systems are hand launched.
The 1st SFAB was activated in August and consists of volunteer senior officers and noncommissioned officers with proven warfighting expertise, said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey. The unit is optimized for train, advise, assist, accompany and enable missions and is built on an infantry brigade combat team model to support a secondary mission of being able to rapidly generate an infantry brigade combat team if the Army needs to grow in the future.
Volunteers with 1st SFAB receive a multitude of training to include common core operations, advising, communications, foreign weapons and foreign language training.
"Our ability to train and operate effectively with partner nation forces in current and future conflicts will remain key to the successful application of 21st Century Land Power," Dailey said in a release to possible volunteers.
Soldiers interested in joining the 1st SFAB should contact their branch manager.