Marines add an “RC” class to Camp Lejeune

Aug 29, 2012 15 Comments by

Camp Lejeune, NC, is adding a new class to its roster: learning to launch, pilot and recover Group 1 assets, which are aircraft that weigh less than 20 pounds, typically fly below 1,200 feet and have missions that last from 45 minutes to 2 hours. They include  RQ-11B Raven, Wasp, RQ-20A Puma and RQ-16B T-Hawk. The new program will be recruiting directly from the Wounded Warrior Project to staff the support activity, giving former service men and women an opportunity to continue their service in a new capacity. Program manager Col. Jim Rector adds, “Consistent training and sustainment support are key components for any  weapon system and are integral to the warfighter’s mission success. After years of operational contingency  funding and rapid fielding of numerous small UAS, we identified this as an area  that we needed to rapidly improve.”

Rector said small UAVs provide the battlefield commander an organic  capability, within his or her unit, to perform over-the-horizon reconnaissance,  surveillance and target acquisition. This reduces operational risks and enhances  his or her decision process.

There are plans to establish an additional class at Camp Pendelton, CA, later this year.

Debra Cleghorn

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Executive editor About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

15 Responses to “Marines add an “RC” class to Camp Lejeune”

  1. Edo McGowan says:

    To the extent that this article is a recruitment tool, it might be instructive to see if this could be opened to selected Civil Air Patrol cadets. As the cost of an hour of flight continues to soar, substituting UAV/UAS for search and monitoring operations will become increasingly compelling. The CAP cadet cadre are a potential source of highly motivated youth who have shown an interest in aviation.

  2. Anthony Mulligan says:

    I think your picture selection is very catchy – getting ready to launch from rocks. Was just curious, In that scenario, where does he land it, seems like it would be dangerous to retrieve if the operator landed on water if surf was up and the rocks look equally difficult.

    • CanDo says:

      Good question Anthony. These UAVs can launch and land in different locations. They are rugged, they are designed to break apart during a hard impact, then snap back together to fly again.

    • Anonymous says:

      a skilled pilot can bring it back to a near static “hover”, alpha position and you just catch it;)

  3. Michael LeBlanc says:

    Stories like this keep me in RC flying. Thanks.

  4. Gene Rizzardi says:

    Love seeing this, I wish they had these back in the 70′s when I was in the service!

  5. ronald wasielewski says:

    This is great. To previous comment on “Where will it land?” It will land where ever the Marine with the flying equipment that can land it with the camera in the plane wants to land it.

  6. Terry Solesbee says:

    This glider/plane could be caught by another person by the pilot.We caught our gliders all the time to save the bottom from scrapes and it was fun to do.

  7. Bob Mauterstock says:

    Are the Marines looking for instructors to work with the wounded worriers. I’d be glad to volunteer.

  8. eduardo osorio says:

    I would like to know how they are able to draw 45 minutes to 2 hours in flight time. Are these UAV electric or they operate with fuel. either way I would like to know How the internal system works to maintain such of long flight time. That will be a great article. By the way, I already heard the typical answer of, I tell you but then I have to kill you! just saying….

  9. David Robinson says:

    I would have strode in line to sign up for this when I was in the Marine Corps. Got to see a few flights and live video from a flight line in the Gulf War. The “birds” I was watching saw plenty of action. Bullet holes and all! Even saw a few minutes of live footage of an enemy tank and personnel carrier convoy coming down our throats, but I had to “skidaddle”, my 9 mm and M16 were no match for T-72 tanks.
    GREAT to see it advancing like this. It will be great tool and save lives.

  10. Ryan says:

    These sized planes would be electric. With new brushless motors and lipo batteries it is easy to get long flight times.
    As far as catching them, I just can’t see it happening. Small plane of this size up to 20lbs would glide in pretty quick unless it had a crazy low stall speed. Hearing they are very durable makes me think they should use a hanging catch net.

  11. Edo McGowan says:

    Deb, some thought should be given to the usefulness of aeronautics and the lore of flight as a tool for energizing today’s dislocated youth. A number of subjects can be run through a program with an aeronautics bent. You need English proficiency to read the basic operations manuals, some math to understand flight and structural issues as well as simple navigation, etc. The Wathen Foundation at Flabob (see: http://www.flabob.org/wathen.php) offers disadvantaged kids a golden opportunity to attain both the A&P and commercial ticket. This is done because kids who have dropped out can be resuscitated through an interest in aviation, i.e, flight. The Marines have a program for kids, Devil Dogs, and my kid brother went through it. That program if combined with the thrill and wonderment of RC flight should, I would think, accomplish several worthwhile objectives, not the least of which is offer kids the opportunity to train for the expanding future in UAVs.

  12. VINNY says:

    ITS TOO BAD I AM 87 YEARS OLD, WOULD LOVE TO FLY THE RC MODELS FOR THE THEM.. I WAS IN THE AIR FORCE, WW2 IN THE PICIFIC WITH THE B 29S. I HAVE BEEN FLYING RC MODELS FOR NEARLY 50 YEARS, STILL FLY THEM, KEEPS ME YOUNG. I KNOW I COULD HAVE HELPED THEM, TEACHING KIDS HOW TO FLY RC.. ITS A GOOD TOOL TO HELP KIDS GO ON A STRAIGHT PATH IN LIFE. AIRPLANES HAVE BEEN MY JOY IN LIFE. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  13. d.o. says:

    The Ravens are routinely caught to land then. This ship will glide efficiently, making long flights easy. They are normally just flown onto the nearest flat surface, but can be stalled, and shatched by the nose by any experienced glider pilot. We do this in R/C soaring all the time with planes 12 feet or so in wingspan! There is a LOT of R/C soaring technology built into this bird, but all the technology, save maybe the military TX/RX set used, can be bought off-the shelf. “Ah So!”

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