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NEWS | June 10, 2024

New drones enhance battlefield strategy

By Spc. Aliyah Vivier

Soldiers attending the small unmanned aerial system operator course at the 166th Regiment - Regional Training Institute trained with the new RQ-28A short range reconnaissance quadcopters during a field training exercise here June 6.

Instructors with the 166th RTI led the training, where Soldiers gained the most up-to-date knowledge and readiness with the drones.

“Their main task for the is to complete a successful aerial reconnaissance,” said Staff Sgt. Terry Selert, an instructor with the 166th RTI. “It’s putting distance between the soldier and the enemy and allowing them to send that information up the pipe.”

The RQ-28A allows for quick and reliable information straight from the location to the commander and allows more time to create and execute plans.

“It has made it easier to keep that distance between the friendlies and enemies and gives the commander more time to react and lead his troops and come up with more efficient routes and tactical strategies,” said Staff Sgt. Luis Andujar, another instructor. “It’s real time data collection on the battlefield.”

With technology advancing not only in the military, but in the rest of the world, it is vital to instill the most up to date information to soldiers to uphold readiness throughout the Army.

“Looking at present and future missions, the battlefield is always changing,” Selert said.

According to the U.S. Army Program Executive Office - Aviation, the RQ-28A is the Army’s first program of record quadcopter and is a small, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that soldiers at the tactical level can use to conduct real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition operations past terrain features.