This is only my perspective from the line Infantry. I was just wondering when all of the UAV tech people are going to push UAV technology down to the platoon level? I appreciate the work that all of you do, but of all the platforms that I’ve seen, none have made a big impact in the line because of the way it was implemented, fear of losing the UAV, the wrong platform for the terrain or just not having enough UAVs available. I spent 2 ½ years over 2 deployments to Iraq as an Infantryman and we rarely had good UAV support. When we did have UAV support, it was not always “top of the line” because the operators were FOB based and it was an office job that became a “check the block” duty. I’ve had a small amount of interaction with DARPA with regard to a BAA proposal. Prior to the DARPA white paper submission, it started out as a civil platform. But, after a UAV incident during my 2nd deployment, it was clear that this needed to be addressed. Here is one point: most Commanders are concerned about losing platoon level UAVs. This happened to me and I had two Raven certified operators in my platoon. Rotor wing UAVs are more suited for urban terrain, but if everyone in the industry keeps pushing out platforms that Commanders are afraid their personnel will lose, then what’s the point? All of my dealings with DARPA and a few others in the industry can be found at my web: http://www.envisionhelicopters.com
This is not an attempt to solicit, but I’ve sat back and watched more than one platform come by, but never get down to us. My platform may not be the answer for this need. Take a serious look at the “UAV implementation paradigm” and fix it. This is only what I’ve seen at my level. I’m listed on DOD global..