According to a command release, Air Force Special Operations Command is the Air Force lead for employment of small unmanned aerial vehicles. Special operators at Hurlburt Field, Fla., have been working with the 820th Security Forces Group at Moody AFB, Ga., to employ the Scan Eagle UAV and used a recent demonstration at Eglin AFB, Fla., to “prepare and certify” the group’s airmen for the first deployment of the Scan Eagle, a 30-pound UAV with a 10-foot wingspan. “AFSOC has developed the standards and trained the operators,” said Rich Heagwood, the command’s chief of small unmanned systems. A Scan Eagle team comprises seven enlisted pilots and sensor operators, five maintainers, and two lead officers. The system of three air vehicles, a ground control station, remote video terminal, and a launch and recovery apparatus, called Skyhook, provides real-time direct situational awareness and force protection information. (AFSOC report by MSgt. Buffy Galbraith)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.