Army National Guard unit trains with FCS micro unmanned vehicle

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.–Members of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard are the first warfighters to train with a gasoline-powered, micro air vehicle (gMAV) prior to their deployment to Iraq this month.

Jan 1st, 2009
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By Courtney E. Howard

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.–Members of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard are the first warfighters to train with a gasoline-powered, micro air vehicle (gMAV) prior to their deployment to Iraq this month.

The man-packable gMAV captures still and video imagery for precise targeting, surveillance, reconnaissance, and convoy-protection applications. Its hover and stare capability is unique to Army and Air Force UAV inventories.

The gMAV is the predecessor to the Future Combat System (FCS) program's Class I unmanned air vehicle (UAV), expected to be fielded to Infantry Brigade Combat Teams in 2011. The Class I UAV is under evaluation with the Army's Evaluation Task Force at Fort Bliss, Texas.

“This fielding is unique, as the 56th Stryker Brigade represents the first National Guard Unit to use FCS-developed unmanned air vehicles,” says Army Major Gregg Dellert, FCS assistant product manager for micro air vehicle and Class I Block Zero unmanned air vehicles.

The 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team will replace a portion of the 2/25th Stryker Brigade, currently deployed in Iraq. Dellert is training 10 Guardsmen from 56th Stryker Brigade on gMAV fundamentals and field use. Once deployed, these soldiers will train gMAV operators on the battlefield. The 56th Stryker Brigade will gain the use of 15 gMAVs.


The gasoline-powered, micro air vehicle (gMAV) assists warfighters in the field with surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting, and convoy protection.
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“The 2/25th Stryker Brigade has been using the gMAV for some time now, but we expect to gain new insight from the fresh user perspective the guard unit will bring,” Dellert explains. In fact, officials expect National Guard soldiers will find new and innovative ways to use the gMAV in theater.

“In terms of both the future development of the gMAV and the FCS Class I UAV, having a fresh set of eyes will prove very useful,” adds Dellert. “These National Guard Soldiers will help our FCS developers make sure that future versions of these UAVs will have all capabilities required for robust mission sets.”

The gMAV, which began as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiative, has been used in theater by a U.S. Navy joint task force ordnance explosive disposal unit.

For additional information, visit www.army.mil/fcs.

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