‘Devil’ Brigade Soldiers train, fly with Ravens
Pfc. Naysha Ramos, Military Police officer, HHC, STB, 1st ABCT, launches the RQ-11B Raven DDL during the brigade’s training Feb. 25 at a mock-airfield at Fort Riley. The two-week course began Feb. 18 and ended March 1. Photo by: Sgt. Kerry Lawson, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Sgt. Kerry Lawson
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Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division conducted training on the RQ-11B Raven Data Digital Link Feb. 25 at a mock-airfield at Fort Riley.
The Raven is used for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition, according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Tumey, unmanned aircraft systems operations officer, 1st ABCT.
Soldiers are taught hands-on training with the Raven, including how to fly it using the simulator; how to handle it before and after launch; how to work the remote control; and how to input the commands into the computer for its flight pattern.
The Raven also can be used to survey convoys and forward operating bases, as well as conduct battle-damage assessments of operating environments.
"The Army is not doing the basic operator training anymore," Tumey said. "So it is up to the unit master trainer to set up these types of training events. I went to Fort Benning, (Ga.), for three weeks to become a certified trainer to teach this course."
The two-week course began Feb. 18 and ended March 1. During the first week, Soldiers learned about reference materials in the classroom and launching techniques. During the second week, Soldiers used the flight simulator on a computer and conducted flight time.
"(The) 1st (ABCT) is the first unit for the division to set up a Raven course, Tumey said, "outside of a military transition team or Fort Benning, Ga.
"Right now, I'm the only one certified on the post to teach this training."
The class is the first of its kind, is in the crawling stage for the unit and is a brigade-level-operated training event. Six students make up its first class, 13-001. The class maximum is 12, with a minimum six students for the next classes.
"I thought this was some great training," said Pfc. Naysha Ramos, military police officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st ABCT. "This is my first time with this type of equipment, but I have to admit, it's pretty cool.
"The dynamics, environmental factors and the capabilities that are all taken into affect for this equipment is very interesting to me."
The class is beneficial to units because of what the Raven can offer, Tumey said.
"The intent is to get at least one Soldier from each battalion within the brigade to become certified in operating the Raven," he said. "The units need to ensure that the (Soldiers) they're sending have longevity with the unit, so that they will have a stabilized operator."
Once the battalion-level master trainers are certified, they can assist in instructing the class, Tumey said, adding they could divide the class in half and focus more with the smaller groups.
The training is to ensure the brigade and the battalions have certified operators on this type of equipment for future training exercises and deployments, Tumey said.