USAF Academy UAS Program Continues To Mature | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 04.25.16

Airborne 04.26.16

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 0830-1230ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1400-1700ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1100-1400ET

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 04.25.16

Airborne 04.26.16

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 0830-1230ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1400-1700ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1100-1400ET

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Fri, Aug 03, 2012

USAF Academy UAS Program Continues To Mature

Program Started In 2009

Cadets participating in Expeditionary Survival and Evasion Training aren't alone. Throughout the day, winged guardians watch over them, protecting them from harm.

The guardians are Aerosonde Mark IV remotely piloted aircraft, operated by cadet pilots in the 557th Flying Training Squadron facility adjacent to the Academy Airfield. The setup there, with stations and monitors set up to resemble the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in Southwest Asia, symbolizes how far the Academy's unmanned aerial system program has evolved in the three years since it started in 2009.

"In the history of the Academy, we've talked about airpower, doctrine and the strategy of how air assets work in a tactical environment," said Lt. Col. John McCurdy, who directs the summer airmanship program. "This is truly game-changer for the Academy. We're not just teaching cadets how to fly the aircraft -- the real value is bringing in the airpower component to their education."
 
The UAS program started in 2009 with a pair of Viking 300 aircraft and a dirt runway at Camp Red Devil on Fort Carson, CO, and focused on flight training and familiarization. Today's UAS program goes well beyond that, said Cadet 1st Class Rusty Thomas, who has taken summer UAS courses since 2010. "I've seen the program change a lot," said Thomas, who is assigned to Cadet Squadron 04. "The scenarios are a lot more realistic, especially working with ESET. If we'd had this my freshman year, it would have been really cool."
 
Over the years, both cadet instructor pilots and permanent-party staff have contributed to the program's operational feel, Thomas said. Today, cadet UAS instructor pilots work with the ESET joint operations center to support cadets in the field, relaying their taskings via an isolated, fiber-optic network to the air operations center at the airfield. There, cadets determine how best to support their on-ground classmates.
 
Three cadets operate each Aerosonde: one pilot, one sensor operator and one mission commander, who takes some of the duties normally carried out by the pilot in an operational environment. They communicate over channels using nine-line combat support requests and Internet relay chat, mirroring the operational Air Force environment.
 
Cadet 2nd Class Derek Richardson of CS 15 is also involved with the summer UAS program. The prior-enlisted Airman favorably compared the Academy's program to what he saw during his Operation Air Force visit to Beale Air Force Base, CA, earlier this summer. "A lot of the stuff we learn her correlates directly to how they operate the Global Hawk," he said.
 
McCurdy said Air Education and Training Command is scheduled to take over the program in the summer of 2014.

(Photo provided by the USAF)

FMI: www.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 04.26.16: Drone v Airplane-NOT!, eFusion Electric Plane, ANN@AEA-LIVE!!

Also: MU-2 AOA, AMA Responds To Senate FAA Reauthorization, ANN@AEA Live 04/27-0830ET, ANN@AEA Live 04/28-1400ET, ANN@AEA Live 04/29-1100ET A report of a drone possibly colliding w>[...]

FAA Approves 5,000 Section 333 Exemption Petition Grants

Gowdy Brothers Aerospace Looks To The Future Of Non-Recreational UAS Use FAA Airman and Airspace Rules Division announces 5,076 approved Section 333 petition grants. The FAA furthe>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (05.01.16)

"Working together, we have accomplished a truly incredible amount in the last couple of years. But we’re still really at the beginning of the process. We need to start thinki>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.01.16)

Aero Linx: Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation The foundation was created to improve aviation safety in Alaska thorough education, advocacy and research. We are a non-profit members>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (05.01.16): Common Point

Common Point A significant point over which two or more aircraft will report passing or have reported passing before proceeding on the same or diverging tracks. To establish/mainta>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC