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15W -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator


Spc. Raymond Poltera, Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operator, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, launches an RQ-7B Shadow 200 TUAV from a pneumatic launcher at the aircraft's primary launch and recovery site on Camp Taji Aug. 11, 2008. The Shadow provides commanders on the ground all throughout the MND-B area of operations the ability to quite literally see the entire battlefield. As the leading provider and provisional authority for the MND-B's airspace, the Fort Hood, Texas, based Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., provides and maintains the launch and recovery site for the entire fleet of Shadow TUAVs.

Basic Job Description

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator, are integral to providing Army personnel with information about enemy forces and potential battle areas. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operators are remote pilots of unmanned observation aircraft, who gather and study information that's required to design operational plans and tactics. The UAV operator supervises or operates the UAV, such as the Army's Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, to include mission planning, mission sensor/payload operations, launching, remotely piloting,and recovering the aerial vehicle.

Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:

Prepares and conducts air reconnaissance mission. Operates mission sensor/payload for target detection. Plans and analyzes flight missions. Deploys and redeploys the TUAV ground and air system. Operates and performs operator level maintenance on communications equipment, power sources, light and heavy wheel vehicle and some crane operations. Launches and recovers the air vehicle, performs pre-flight, in flight and post-flight checks and procedures.

Directs emplacement of ground control station. Directs emplacement of launch and recovery systems. Supervises and assists in air frame repair. Coordinates evacuation and replacement of parts and end items.

Training Information

Job training for an unmanned aerial vehicle operator requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and over 23 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and in the field.

Some of the skills you'll learn are:

  • Performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance simulation missions
  • Preparing maps, charts and intelligence reports
  • Analyzing aerial photographs
  • Using computer systems

ASVAB Score Required: 102 in the aptitude area SC

Security Clearance: Secret

Strength Requirement: medium

Physical Profile Requirement: 222221.

Other Requirements

  • Normal color vision required
  • Must be US Citizen
  • Never been a member of the U.S. Peace Corps, except as specified in Army Regulation 614-200, chapter 1.
  • No record of conviction by court-martial
  • No record of conviction by a civil court for any offense other than minor traffic violations.

Similar Civilian Occupations

  • The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career with federal government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency. It can also prepare you for other fields such as research or business planning.

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