The "eye in the sky" keeps Soldiers out of harm's way
USArmy | April 30, 2009 at 04:33 amby
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide Soldiers with the capability to see activity surrounding an objective without detection.
A group of insurgents waits in the dark to ambush a convoy. They sit patiently, eager, having planned the attack and thinking they know what to expect. A few minutes pass and then-suddenly-they are inexplicably blinded by spotlights as Soldiers seemingly from nowhere take advantage of their disorientation and safely disarm them.
There was one thing that the attackers did not consider; the "eye in sky" that can see in the dark.
"Our mission is to provide route reconnaissance, counter-improvised explosive device watch, counter-indirect fire support and look for suspicious activity," said Spc. Mark Mushen, a San Antonio, Texas, native and an unmanned aerial vehicle operator for Company A, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
"We have a good field of view because we fly at a pretty high altitude," said Sgt. Travis Nunn, a Siloam Springs, Ark., native and a UAV operator for Company A. "We can see things that they can't always see."
According to Mushen, the UAV offers Soldiers near real-time imagery of an area and can scout areas days in advance to give Soldiers an idea of what to expect.
This is especially true at night, because the UAVs have infrared cameras that allow us to see really clearly, said Nunn.
Nunn said UAVs are used to detect small-arms fire, uncovered improvised explosive device sights and enemy activity, and that UAVs are the first ones on the scene if the forward operating base receives incoming fire.
"If there is anything that happens, we get redirected to cover it," said Nunn.
For the complete story, please see: The "eye in the sky" keeps Soldiers out of harm's way
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