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Unmanned Aircraft Joins Operation Enduring Freedom

By Sgt. 1st Class Charis Wilson, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Nov. 1, 2007 – A new, sleek, toy-like airframe is now a part of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade fleet of aircraft traveling the skies of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduing Freedom.

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Army Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez (right), 82nd Airborne Division commander, with Army Col. Kelly Thomas (second from right), 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade commander, recognizes members from the control team for the Sky Warrior-A unmanned aircraft system. Task Force Charger, the team that falls under 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, is responsible for missions conducted using the Sky Warrior-A, an Army unmanned aircraft, from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Photo by Spc. Aubree Rundle, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Sky Warrior-A is an Army unmanned aircraft system that provides combatant commanders the ability to detect, track and engage targets by using reconnaissance, surveillance and target-acquisition technology.

“It’s used as a combat multiplier, providing line-of-sight and beyond capabilities via a satellite link,” said Army Col. Michael Cavalier, project manager for unmanned aircraft system tactical concepts with Task Force Charger.

Less than three years into operational existence, the Sky Warrior-A has achieved a record 10,000 combat flight hours on three aircraft. First used in Iraq, it is being phased into operations in Afghanistan.

“It gives commanders an added asset on the tactical and strategic level to focus on priorities and direct assets where needed,” Detachment Commander Army Capt. Stephen Adamson said.

Sky Warrior-A began arriving in country in late September and is conducting operations throughout the theater.

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Charis Wilson is assigned to Task Force Charger, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 82
NATO International Security Assistance Force

Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Col. Michael Cavalier (right), Task Force Charger, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, presents Army Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, 82nd Airborne Division commander, a framed display photo of the latest addition to the task force's aviation mission assets, the Sky Warrior-A, an Army unmanned aircraft targeting system. Photo by Spc. Aubree Rundle, USA  
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