Photo Information

Corporal Michael Zachman of 2nd Intelligence Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, uses the Ground Control System to operate the RQ20-B Puma during an unmanned aerial vehicle training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 8, 2018. Zachman is one of the four UAV operators from 2nd Intelligence Battalion. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Lyden)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Lyden

Help from above: Marines conduct UAV training

2 May 2018 | Lance Cpl. Samuel Lyden II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with 2nd Intelligence Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force conducted unmanned aerial vehicle training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 8, 2018.

The Marines conducted the training to improve their proficiency operating UAVs.

Throughout the training, the Marines used a RQ-20B Puma, a battery powered drone used for performing reconnaissance, surveillance and collecting intelligence. A UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle that is flown from a ground control station that is connected to a laptop and omni antenna system to send instructions and information to the RQ-20B Puma.

“We’re required to have twelve flights yearly with two flights being simulated,” said Cpl. Logan Johnson, a non-commissioned officer with Geospatial Intelligence Platoon, 2nd Intelligence Battalion, II MEF. “This training gives us the real-life experience of turbulence and crashing, whereas the simulator doesn’t.”

The Marines took part in a two week course prior to completing the training.

“We went over loss of link procedures, night flights, infrared function, how to take videos and photos, tracking vehicles, working inside of a moving vehicle, and regular and flight maneuvers.” said Johnson.

The UAV is becoming a more popular tool to use in the field due to its versatility.

“With this training, you take away the single point of failure and won’t have to rely on a specific military occupational specialty to do it,” said Johnson. “We can cross train Marines into this field.”

The UAV is a capability that enhances the effectiveness of the modern warfighter

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