Deploying forces get rapid UAS training

Aug. 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force will be able to receive rapid training of unmanned aerial systems at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command said a tactical UAS training and logistics support activity has been established at the base for short-notice training for all Group I unmanned aircraft systems, which are those that weigh less than 20 pounds.

Included are the RQ-11B Raven, Wasp, RQ-20A Puma and RQ-16B T-Hawk.

"Consistent training and sustainment support are key components for any weapon system and are integral to the warfighter's mission success," said Col. Jim Rector, PMA-263 program manager.

"After years of operational contingency funding and rapid fielding of numerous small UAS, we identified this as an area that we needed to rapidly improve."

NAVAIR said that in the past the Marines used other contracts to support UAS training requirements for the RQ-11B Raven. The new TALSA at Camp Lejeune offers more frequent instruction for deploying forces. The courses, a project of the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical UAS program office, focus on systems' function, employment, maintenance and troubleshooting issues.

A TALSA is also expected to be established at Camp Pendleton in California.

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