Fort Campbell’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s UAS teams enhance skills through field training

Spc. Thomas Olsen, a Tactical Unmanned Aerial System maintainer assigned to the TUAS Platoon, Company B, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team "Rakkasans," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), calls in another systems check before loading the Shadow Unmanned Aerial System on the launcher at Fort Campbell, Ky., Sept. 9, 2013. Olsen and the rest of his platoon spent three weeks in the field to advance their skills and to increase their readiness level so they are ready to assist the brigade on future missions. (Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton/U.S.Army)The Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems operators and maintainers assigned to TUAS platoon, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), have spent several weeks in the field to advance their capabilities as the UAS asset for the Rakkasans.

“This is our third week out here for our field exercise,” said Spc. John Alexander, a TUAS operator assigned to the TUAS Platoon, “This field exercise was designed to increase our readiness level by incorporating combat mission simulations.”

The TUAS platoon is training vigorously to get their operational readiness to the highest level.

“The goal is to have everyone in the platoon at readiness level,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Bochert, platoon sergeant for the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System platoon. “Readiness level one means you know all the tactics, techniques and procedures to flying the aircraft and are proficient at it.”

Alexander explains further.

“We start off at readiness level three, which is the bottom,” said Alexander. “As we progress, we get tested by the Instructor Operator before being considered for a higher readiness level.”

Readiness levels are necessary as the UAS system is heavily relied upon when the unit is deployed.

“The TUAS is a huge asset to the brigade. We are the only UAS platoon supporting the brigade,” said Bochert. “We are able to do route reconnaissance, find bad people, conduct battle damage assessments and much more.”

“It’s very interesting when it all comes together,” said Sgt. William Hubers, a TUAS maintainer assigned to the TUAS Platoon. “We have our operators flying the UAS which is feeding what we see down to the guys on the ground which is a major asset to help with mission success.”

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