By Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. | 2nd Marine Division
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE —
Marines with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, conducted a training exercise aboard Range SR-10, which integrated the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank and the RQ-11 Raven Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Oct. 15.
The objective of the training was to test out the scouting capabilities of the UAV. Proper scouting reports from the UAV may contain the number of enemies, how far out the enemies are and what threat the enemy shows.
“The Ravens give you a good birds-eye view, they receive reconnaissance that can be too far out to see,” said Cpl. Peter J. Richter, a Raven operator with Scout and TOW platoon, 2nd Tanks, and Native of Dexter, Mich. “They also are very good for locating and navigating bad terrain such as swamps.”
The approximately seven-pound UAV helps scout enemies with the camera attached to the Raven’s nose. Once the Raven receives reconnaissance on the enemy, it returns down range where the information is given to the tank crews.
After the tank crews received the enemy report, they headed up the range and engaged the targets.
Completing the training improved the Raven operators and tank crews integration and teamwork.
“It breaks up the monotony of training by showing us something new and effective,” said Richter.