Fort Huachuca - Nineteen Soldiers of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) platoon from D Co., 41st Engineer Bn., 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) deployed to Fort Huachuca mid-February to conduct UAS operations training in preparation for an upcoming rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center this summer.
"Fort Huachuca averages about 300 flying days (days that the weather allows for UAS operations) a year," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Matthew Madden, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE) G3 Air. "Combined with the available airspace for UAS operations, facilities, and access to UAS simulators, Fort Huachuca is a prime location for FORSCOM (Forces Command) units to come and train."
According to Staff Sgt. Edmond Nachbauer, the unit's Platoon Sgt., the training has proven to be invaluable.
"UAS training at Fort Drum this time of year is difficult at best," said Nachbauer. "Here we are able to get the flying hours we need as well as deployment / redeployment training and hands on training with every piece of our equipment. I am certain that everyone in the unit will gain tremendous experience by coming out here to train."
The Platoon Leader,1st Lt. Katharyn Grewelle, reiterated Nachbauer comments.
"10th Mountain Division has done UAS training out here a few times," said Grewelle. "It is definitely something I would encourage for other UAS units within the division to do. We have a number of young Soldiers out here, that are new to the unit, who are gaining some very valuable experience right now."
The platoon plans to log at least 130 flying hours during the four weeks they are training here. They had hoped to do more, but rain, high winds, and a little snow fall has caused them to temper their expectations. Despite the weather, the platoon will depart Fort Huachuca much better prepared for their Joint Readiness Training Center rotation this summer.