RUAS enter partnership with the British Army to accredit military drone pilots.

RUAS are delighted to announce a new training partnership with the Royal Artillery, the firepower to the British Army, to allow their unmanned aircraft pilots to gain the CAA-approved remote pilot accreditation.

RUAS and the Royal Artillery have worked together to create a short-track course for military personnel already flying drones in Service. Whilst there is no exemption from the exam, military drone pilots have a high level of knowledge across many of the ground school training modules, including map reading, aviation safety and human performance.  This has enabled RUAS to offer a shortened version of the Ground School training course than is currently delivered to civilian drone pilots.

As the Army’s experts in the use of mini Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Larkhill, Wiltshire, have almost continually deployed on Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and more recently the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Eastern Europe using the Desert Hawk 3 Unmanned Aircraft.  This expertise, generated over a decade on operations, is now being accredited through partnership with RUAS, the longest-standing UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) National Qualified Entity (NQE) and experts in the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones.

32 Regiment soldiers have met every operational challenge, and as capable and intelligent soldiers have a wealth of transferable skills.  The Army offers opportunity for all and invests in soldiers to gain civilian accreditation as a result of their military training and experience.  This enables them to fulfil their potential, gives them skills for life, enhances their military career and enables them to build a portfolio of civilian skills that are valued by employers. In the case of RUAS, the training and accreditation will enable the soldiers of 32 Regiment to achieve the CAA’s Certificate of Pilot Competency.

The Commanding Officer of 32 Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel James Palmer said “This is an exciting opportunity for the soldiers of 32 Regiment to gain a valuable civilian qualification whilst doing their job. As experts in the use of mini Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), it is only right that their knowledge, skills and experience are credited and I would like to thank Paul German and RUAS for their co-operation and partnership”.

By creating this abridged version of the training, the military drone pilots are able to confirm their understanding of these areas, as RUAS fully test over all categories as part of their role as a CAA NQE. Being silver holders of the Armed Forces Covenant award, RUAS are combining their expertise across the military and civilian drone worlds for the benefit of all involved.

Mark Jones, Head of RUAS, says “With a high number of the RUAS team being former military, we understand the specific needs of this audience and are delighted to be able to offer a short-track course designed specifically for both regular and reservist soldiers who already fly drones in the military.”

With the first course having taken place in early July, with 50 soldiers across 32 Regiment Royal Artillery and 104 Regiment Royal Artillery in Newport, RUAS and the British Army are looking forward to developing and expanding this training to enable as many experienced and highly-skilled military drone pilots to benefit from this scheme as possible.

Mark Jones concludes: “Allowing military drone pilots to gain their civilian approved Remote Pilot accreditation is an exciting project and we are proud to offer this subsidised training that will benefit everyone involved. This will allow soldiers to use their military experience to benefit the civilian expansion of the drone industry in the UK as well as providing personal post-service and resettlement opportunities as they will be able to go straight into a civilian flying role”.