Story by: Lt. Col. Jennifer J. Bocanegra, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
FORT HOOD (Now designated Fort Cavazos), TEXAS- Signal corps professionals serving across the installation participated in a combined General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) training event Mar. 23.
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Munoz, a 1st Cavalry Division Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager planned, coordinated and hosted the training session with support from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technician, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Luis A. Rivera, and members of the Division Command, Control, Communications and Computer Services and Integration (G6) staff to provide signal system operators an overview of the unmanned aircraft system.
Munoz began coordinating for the training two months ago with the Air Cav Brigade. Participants included spectrum managers and satellite operators working at all echelons from battalion to corps.
During the training, Munoz said trainees received opportunities to learn more about the UAS equipment, its capabilities and limitations which helps organize and plan for future operations.
“The UAS provides a lot including reconnaissance, surveillance and communications capabilities for units that are further out on the battlefield, so it is important to gain a better understanding of how they operate,” Munoz said.
Sgt. 1st Class Fabian Sesma, also an Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager assigned to the 1CD G6 section who has served in the military for 19 years, said this is the first time he has taken part in this type of training.
“From a spectrum manager’s perspective, it was good to go beyond providing the frequencies for aircraft to communicate a line-of-sight,” Sesma said. “We got to see where they input the frequencies into the aircraft and what they do for the aircraft to support whatever training or mission they have going on at that time.”
During the training, participants received an opportunity to learn about the MQ-1C Gray Eagle including the aircraft’s capabilities to support reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition. Trainers also demonstrated the automatic takeoff and landing system which allows the UAS to be launched and recovered without any operator interaction.
Munoz said this training was a good way to get signal and Spectrum operators out of the unit for hands-on training and familiarizing themselves with equipment they may work with in the future.
This training event and the acquisition of MQ-1C Gray Eagle systems supports the U.S. Army’s modernization plan and will further enable the 1st Cavalry Division to become a multi-domain operations (MDO)-capable Force.