Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/g30rg3/public_html/_jfj.php on line 1064
Joint Forces Journal

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/g30rg3/public_html/_header.php on line 12
VOL. 24 - NO. 27
JUL 14 - 21, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX
SUBSCRIPTION RATE:
$25/YEAR
home
home
home
home

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

First Army Battalion with Mini Drones Heading to Afghanistan

Jun 29, 2019
by Phillip Walter Wellman
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division will be the first infantry Army battalion to employ pocket-sized drones at the squad level on their upcoming Afghanistan deployment.

Troops with the Division's 3rd Brigade Combat team were issued Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System this spring and provided training on how to use the drones, which resemble miniature helicopters.

The 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, is planning to employ the machines during July in Afghanistan, while other elements of the brigade wait to see how best to leverage the system, a brigade spokesman told Stars and Stripes.

The hand-held devices are expected to become standard kit for units across the Army, providing near-real time video that will allow soldiers to better survey their surroundings and detect enemies in combat.

"This kind of technology will be a life-saver for us because it takes us out of harm's way while enhancing our ability to execute whatever combat mission we're on," said Sgt. Ryan Subers, who received the training. "I'm very grateful for technology like this and to be a part of the first unit to use it."

The Army initially bought Black Hornets, made by Oregon-based FLIR Systems Inc., for testing with Special Forces units in 2016. The devices are extremely light, nearly silent and have a flight time of up to 25 minutes.

At a demonstration in Norway during a NATO exercise last fall, a FLIR official said the drone, which weighs less than two ounces, can be deployed in less than one minute and has a range of over a mile. It's intended to eliminate battlefield blind spots with the aim of saving troop's lives and avoiding unintentional damage or deaths.

"With this system, you can [positively identify] enemies, you can look for [improvised explosive devices] on your route," said Kristian Molander, a FLIR supervisor and operator. "If you're taking fire from areas you can't see, you can use this system to identify stuff before you move into the line of fire."

Teaching a soldier to fly it takes two minutes, Molander said. Training an instructor takes less than three days.

Wireless commands and data sent between the drone and its controller are encrypted to protect it against hacking, the Army said in a statement last May in which the service said it had ordered about 60 systems.

In addition to a $2.6 million contract awarded to FLIR last spring, the Army awarded the company nearly $40 million in January of this year to provide Black Hornets for the Army's Soldier Borne Sensor program. The deal would provide the Army with 9,000 systems, each with two drones, Breaking Defense reported this month. However, FLIR was unable to confirm the number of devices to be delivered.

The basic configuration of a Black Hornet system includes one drone for day and one for night, a base station that connects to a handheld controller, and a display about the size of a tablet computer, but it varies from customer to customer, said FLIR spokesman Joe Ailinger Jr. "The configuration is flexible and can be customized as needed," he said.

Elements of the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based 3rd Brigade Combat Team, including the drone-equipped battalion, will be deploying to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, a brigade spokesman said. They will replace the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, N.Y, which deployed to the country last fall to support the dual U.S. mission -- a bilateral counterterrorism effort with the Afghans and a NATO-led effort to build up and support the Afghan security forces.

The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, which was deployed to Afghanistan last year, is set to become the second Army unit to receive Black Hornet drones later this year.

* * * * *

Photo caption: Pvt. Kelsey Darnell, B. Co., 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, let’s go of the air vehicle as it takes off during the systems fielding at Fort Bragg, NC. (US Army/Patrick Ferraris).


subscribe

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/g30rg3/public_html/_latest_headlines.php on line 11

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: The Award-Winning International Hit Stage Production "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" to Be Featured at Comic-Con International in San Diego

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Performing Academy Offers Students the Chance to Act, Sing and Dance

Army to Receive 7.62mm Squad Marksman Rifles as Early as Next Year

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Children's Fairyland in Oakland Is as Magical for Children as Ever!

At 100, WWII and Korean War Vet Honored for his Place in Marine Corps History

AC-130U 'Spooky' Gunship Completes its Final Combat Deployment

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Launches 50th Season with a Whimsical Parable "The Language Archive"

Navy SEAL Looking for Others who Have Taken Photos with Enemy Corpses

Marines in These In-Demand Fields Can Take Home Big Bonuses in 2020

Coast Guard Cutter Holds Line on China During Rare Pacific Deployment