Story by 1st Lt. Kareem Abiose
CAMP MARECHAL DE LATTRE DE TASSIGNY, Kosovo – Sgt. Jason R. Hewitt conducted Raven Initial Qualification Training May 24 with Soldiers in Alpha Troop to increase the squadron’s ability to conduct aerial reconnaissance.
The RQ-11 Raven is a hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle used for aerial observation at line-of-sight ranges up to 10 kilometers.
Alpha Troop is part of 3rd Squadron, 61st Calvary Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Carson, Colorado. The squadron is deployed to Camp Marechal De Lattre De Tassigny, Kosovo, as the main maneuver element for Kosovo Force’s Multi-National Battle Group – East, which is tasked to contribute to a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo.
Hewitt, from Tucson, Arizona, joined the Army on Jan. 2, 2012. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on Oct. 1, 2016.
Sgt. Maj. Thomas L. Ray selected Sgt. Hewitt to attend the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) in June 2017. Hewitt was later sent to the Master Trainer Small Unmanned Aircraft System (MTSUAS) course in February 2018.
Hewitt said he enjoys training Soldiers. “I seized the opportunity to train Soldiers on the proper way to employ and maintain the Raven so as to increase the capabilities in the squadron. There are not many people who can transfer valuable knowledge to another person, but I can. After teaching Soldiers the proper procedures for operating the Raven, they are able to launch, control, land, and recover the equipment without loss or damage to the equipment.”
So far, Hewitt has trained five Soldiers since graduating the course, but plans on qualifying 15 more on the Raven prior redeployment.
Hewitt has a total of 87 flight hours on the Raven. “I fly the Raven whenever the opportunity presents itself. I follow the squadron commander’s guidance of being the eyes and ears of the battlefield as a cavalry Soldier.”