Fort Riley, Kansas



All hands on deck for Gray Eagle tour

By Kalene Lozick | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | June 26, 2017

     Service Members of Company F, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, welcomed staff members of the Kansas City regional office of the Federal Aviation Administration for an administrator tour June 13 at 10 a.m. for a walk-through of the Gray Eagle hangar.

     Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Harless, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st CAB, 1st Inf. Div., is the company’s standardization officer and led the tour.

     The purpose of the tour was to talk about the proposed Route Kiowa; the aircraft, MQ-1C Gray Eagle, capabilities and limitations; and supporting equipment, Harless said.

     “Route Kiowa is a proposed route from Fort Riley to Fort Carson to allow us to conduct specific ranges and training missions,” Harless said.

     Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mike Blakemore, G-3 aviation from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Inf. Div., said the proposed route would allow training for long range missions like they do in combat.

     The Gray Eagle is a predator-like drone with multi-mission capability. So it is capable of attacking and pure operations, Harless said.

     The proposed route would open up the airspaces for more realistic training.

     “These air routes will allow us to actually fly a couple hundred to 300 kilometers away from home station,” Harless said. “Conduct hand-off with other posts and really conduct that kind of training that will be beneficial and realistic to what we do down range.”

     Among those who attended the FAA Regional Administrator Tour were, Joe Miniace, Senior FAA Official for FAA’s Regional Administrator for Central Region (Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska); John Speckin, Deputy Regional Administrator for the FAA’s Central Region; Debra Sanning, senior advisory; Keisha Clay, analyst.

     All FAA officials are within the Central Region office in Kansas City for the Senior Executive Services 2.

     “Thank you for doing this. Very nice,” Sanning said during the tour.

     “We really appreciate you guys having us out here,” Clay said.

     Following the tour of the Gray Eagle hanger Miniace and his team received an overview of the Route Kiowa Packet submissions in a briefing following the Gray Eagle tour.