By Amy SunseriDecember 15, 2011
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- Fort Huachuca is home to the largest unmanned aircraft system training center in the world, with over 350,000 square feet of training space, four hangars, and 24-hour operational capacity, training more than 1,300 students annually. This includes the military occupational specialty 150U, unmanned aircraft systems operations technician.
Unmanned aircraft are often called, "the eye in the sky" and are controlled remotely by a pilot on the ground. They are used by the Army primarily to obtain surveillance and save the lives of Soldiers who used to perform this mission since the aircraft are flown with no one inside.
The 2-13th Aviation Regiment is a tenant unit on Fort Huachuca. The brigade's headquarters and command staff is located at Fort Rucker, Ala. The 150U MOS has been taught on Fort Huachuca since 2001. The 150U course is taught on Fort Huachuca because 150U were originally an MOS that fell under military intelligence, according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marvin Petersen, 150U course manager, 2-13th Avn. Reg. standardization officer.
The 150U course is a six-week course broken down into six modules, UAS: Aircrew Training, Pre-Deployment, Operations, Airspace Considerations, Role in Combat Operations and Performance and Capabilities Brief.
"The purpose of the 150U course is to train tactical unmanned aircraft systems operations technicians to operate as advisors and subject matter experts. Training focuses on developing problem solvers capable of providing advice on UAS tactics, techniques, procedures, capabilities and architecture," explained Peterson.
The course typically graduates on average 40 students per year, according to Petersen. After graduation most 150U Warrant Officers are placed in a platoon that focuses on the Shadow UAS in a brigade combat team.
"The MOS is critical to the battlefield commanders; they are the subject matter experts that know how to best employ the system to meet his or her needs. They're the continuity between the command and platoon," Petersen added.