Four Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 completed the Raven Operators Course at Camp Lejeune Friday.
During the two-week course, Marines earned certifications to operate RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicles. The Raven is a small hand-launched remote-controlled UAV. It provides day and night real-time video imagery for “over the hill” or “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.
“This course provides us with the necessary training for operating the UAV,” said Christopher D. Cienkowski, a fire safety noncommissioned officer and fire team leader with MWSS-271. “If we send a convoy unit off to do field work, we can send a Raven to fly down the road to identify (threats).”
In a combat situation the Raven decreases the probability of risk for the Marines, said Jerome Adams, a small unmanned aircraft system instructor with Training and Logistics Support Activity, a subsidiary of the Naval Air Command’s office for Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
During the course, the Marines learn the characteristics of the Raven, the different missions it is used for, its ground control station capabilities and its limitations. They were expected to learn continuously and successfully demonstrate everything they learned during the final training event. Adams said they accomplished all tasks admirably.
Cienkowski said the instructors passed his test as well.
“The instructors are people I can definitely fall back on and depend on,” he said. “They are reliable and knowledgeable; they’ve helped all of us here.”