FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment met a historical benchmark Nov. 18 reaching 100,000 unmanned flight hours flown by unmanned aircraft systems Soldiers in Advanced Individual Training.
“We are here celebrating 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment passing 100,000 flight hours,” said Lt. Col. Jacob Roper, commander, 2-13th Aviation Regiment, during a ceremony at Libby Army Airfield.
Roper emphasized the battalion’s energy and dedication toward the goal, and everyone’s role in reaching the milestone.
“Not only the people who are currently working for this unit, but people serving here in the past decade contributed to this effort,” Roper remarked.
2-13th Aviation Regiment trains more than 1,800 Soldiers each year with 12 programs specializing in UAS operations.
“2nd Battalion instructs four different military occupations,” Roper said.
The unit trains both the operators and maintainers for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and the RQ-7B Shadow UAS.
“Describing the 100,000-hour benchmark with UAS is equivalent to aircraft operations staying in the air 24 hours a day for 11 years straight,” Roper explains.
AIT student operators flying a MQ-1C Gray Eagle crossed the 100,000-hour threshold during their flight-line qualifications.
“I’ve always had an interest in studying UAS,” said Pvt. Nathan Hadjiveloudos, AIT student UAS operator. “I am extremely proud to be here and to be a part of my class.”
“Flight-line training is a challenge, and our class prepared us well for the test,” said Pvt. 1st Class Stuart Hawn, AIT student UAS operator.
Hadjiveloudos and Hawn said they were happy with their success on the flight line and look forward to rigorous training during their remaining three months of school.
“I am happy to say our tests factored into the regiment’s history,” Hadjiveloudos said.
Both Soldiers agreed that fact alone gave them bragging rights.
“We work nonstop, day in and day out,” said Capt. Phillip Apodaca, commander, Bravo Company, training the RQ-7B Shadow UAS operators and maintainers at Black Tower’s Rugge-Hamilton Airstrip.
Apodaca explained accumulating the 100,000 flight hours equaled roughly three to four times that many hours in labor by those who provide essential logistic and flight-line support.
“It’s great to celebrate this achievement,” he said.
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command, and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
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