Skip to main content

Full text of "DTIC ADA607338: Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy"

See other formats


RAND 


NATIONAL SECURITY 
RESEARCH DIVISION 


CHILDREN AND FAMILIES 

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and 

EDUCATION AND THE ARTS 

decisionmaking through research and analysis. 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT 


HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE 

This electronic document was made available from www.rand.org as a public service 

INFRASTRUCTURE AND 

TRANSPORTATION 

of the RAND Corporation. 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS 


LAW AND BUSINESS 

Skip all front matter: Tump to Page 1 ▼ 

NATIONAL SECURITY 


POPULATION AND AGING 


PUBLIC SAFETY 

Support RAND 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 

Purchase this document 

TERRORISM AND 

HOMELAND SECURITY 

Browse Reports & Bookstore 

Make a charitable contribution 

For More Information 

Visit RAND at www.rand.org 

Explore the RAND National Securitv Research Division 

View document details 


Limited Electronic Distribution Rights 

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law as indicated in a notice appearing 
later in this work. This electronic representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for non¬ 
commercial use only. Unauthorized posting of RAND electronic documents to a non-RAND website is 
prohibited. RAND electronic documents are protected under copyright law. Permission is required from 
RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of our research documents for commercial use. For 
information on reprint and linking permissions, please see RAND Permissions. 














Report Documentation Page 

Form Approved 

0MB No. 0704-0188 

Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, 
including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington 

VA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it 
does not display a currently valid 0MB control number. 

1. REPORT DATE 

20 2. REPORT TYPE 

3. DATES COVERED 

00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 

4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 

Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 

5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 

5b. GRANT NUMBER 

5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 

6. AUTHOR(S) 

5d. PROJECT NUMBER 

5e. TASK NUMBER 

5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 

7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 

RAND Corporation,National Defense Research Institute (NDRI),1776 

Main Street, PO Box 2138,Santa Monica,CA,90407-2138 

8. PEREORMING ORGANIZATION 

REPORT NUMBER 

9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 

10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S) 

11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT 
NUMBER(S) 

12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT 

Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 

13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 

14. ABSTRACT 

15. SUBJECT TERMS 

16. SECURITY CLASSIEICATION OE: 17. LIMITATION OE 

ARSTRAUT 

18. NUMBER 19a. NAME OE 

OE PAGES RESPONSIBLE PERSON 

a. REPORT b. ABSTRACT c. THIS PAGE Sume US 

unclassified unclassified unclassified Report (SAR) 

120 


Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) 

Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 





This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports 
present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the 
public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure 
high standards for research quality and objectivity. 



RAND 

CORPORATION 


Building Toward an 
Unmanned Aircraft System 
Training Strategy 


Bernard D. Rostker, Charles Nemfakos, Henry A. Leonard, Elliot Axelband, 
Abby Doll, Kimberly N. Hale, Brian Mclnnis, Richard Mesic, Daniel Tremblay, 
Roland J. Yardley, Stephanie Young 




RAND 


NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH DIVISION 


Building Toward an 
Unmanned Aircraft System 
Training Strategy 


Bernard D. Rostker, Charles Nemfakos, Henry A. Leonard, Elliot Axelband, 
Abby Doll, Kimberly N. Hale, Brian Mclnnis, Richard Mesic, Daniel Tremblay, 
Roland J. Yardley, Stephanie Young 


Prepared for OUSD (P&R), Directorate for 
Training and Readiness Policy and Programs 

Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 



For more information on this publication, visit www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR440.html 


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 


Rostker, Bernard. 

Building toward an unmanned aircraft system training strategy / Bernard D. Rostker [and 
ten 

others]. 
pages cm 

Includes bibliographical references. 

ISBN 978-0-8330-8531-3 (pbk. : alk. paper) 

1. Drone aircraft—United States. 2. Drone aircraft pilots—^Training of— 

United States. I. 

Title. 

UG1242.D7R64 2014 

358.4T56—dc23 2014025166 


Published by the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif 
© Copyright 2014 RAND Corporation 
RAND® is a registered trademark. 


Linnited Print and Electronic Distribution Rights 

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND 
intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication 
online is prohibited. Permission is given to duplicate this document for personal use only, as long as it 
is unaltered and complete. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of 
its research documents for commercial use. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit 
www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.html. 

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make 
communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, 
nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. 

RAND s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. 


Support RAND 

Make a tax-deductible charitable contribution at 
www.rand.org/giving/contribute 


www.rand.org 


Preface 


During the most recent rounds of Base Closure and Realignment Commission activities 
in 2005, a significant number of training bases were closed. In light of the introduction of 
new technologies and the great expansion of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) in the force, 
Department of Defense planners and some in Congress have become concerned that the exist¬ 
ing training infrastructure—bases and their training support facilities—may not be adequate 
to train UAS air and ground components and the ground forces that use such equipment to 
capitalize fully on their capabilities. Accordingly, the Deputy Director, Readiness and Training 
Policy and Programs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readi¬ 
ness (OUSD [P&R]) asked the RAND Corporation to assess the adequacy of UAS training 
to support current and future requirements. In addition, the House Armed Services Commit¬ 
tee report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Appropriations Act raised 
a number of questions concerning training strategies with particular reference to the use of 
simulators to facilitate training.^ 

This report considers three issues: (1) the development of a general concept for UAS 
training in the context of current and anticipated future UAS inventories, (2) the development 
of an appropriate framework based on the general concept to address UAS training require¬ 
ments, including the appropriate use of simulators, and (3) the airspace requirements necessary 
for UAS training. The research reported on here covers UASs in the Army, Navy, Air Force, 
and Marine Corps as fielded and plans as they existed during 2012. A RAND team carried 
out extensive field visits to understand the current ability of the services to conduct (1) ser¬ 
vice-specific training and (2) joint training at both home station and joint training facilities. 
The research will be of interest to those concerned with UAS programs and operations; joint 
training; or more generally, the incorporation of disruptive technologies into Department of 
Defense programs and operations. 

This research was sponsored by the OUSD (P&R) Directorate for Training and Readi¬ 
ness Policy and Programs, in coordination with the Joint Forces Command s Joint Warfight¬ 
ing Center and the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence. The research was 
conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense 
Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center sponsored by 
the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the 
Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the Defense Intelligence Community. For 


^ House Armed Services Committee, Conference Report Accompanying the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Appropriations 
Act, 112th Cong., 2nd Sess., December 17, 2012, p. 136. 




iv Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


more information on the RAND Forces and Resources Policy Center, see http://www.rand. 
org/nsrd/ndri/centers/frp.html or contact the director (contact information is provided on the 
web page). 


Contents 


Preface .iii 

Figures and Tables .vii 

Summary . ix 

Acknowledgments .xvii 

Abbreviations .xix 

CHAPTER ONE 

Introduction . 1 

UASs Play an Increasing Role on the Battlefield. 1 

Focus and Approach of this Research.4 

Plan for the Report.6 

CHAPTER TWO 

The Case for and Implications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Being a “Disruptive 

Technology” .7 

The Disruptive Technology Experience in the Business Community.7 

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: A Case of Disruptive Technology for the Department of Defense.8 

A Challenge to the Traditional Acquisition System.9 

Rapid Acquisition Programs Met the Challenge.9 

The Use of Fast Track Authorities Can Cause Problems.13 

CHAPTER THREE 

Training Concept and Framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems .15 

Training Transformation, Joint Doctrine, Joint Operations, and UASs.15 

The UAS Training Concept: A General Notion for UAS Training.17 

A Concept of Operations for UASs Is a Prerequisite for Training.18 

Summary.19 

Training Framework for Tactical UASs.19 

The Training Framework for Ground Combat: Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. 20 

The Training Framework for Fleet Operations.21 

Applying the Training Framework. 23 

CHAPTER FOUR 

Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012: Service and Interoperability 

Training and the Role for Simulators .25 

Ground Forces. 26 

Training for Operators and Support Personnel. 26 






























vi Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Operational Training. 30 

Improvements in Facilities and Basing for UASs Will Improve Training Integration.31 

Key Areas of Concern. 34 

Air Force.35 

Training for Pilots, Operators, and Support Personnel.35 

Operational Training.39 

Key Areas of Concern. 40 

Navy.41 

Training for Operators and Support Personnel. 42 

Operational Training.45 

Key Areas of Concern.45 

The Need for Interoperability. 46 

Simulators.47 

Summary.49 

CHAPTER FIVE 

Implications and Recommendations.51 

The Guiding Principle: “Train As We Fight”.51 

Elements of a Strategic Training Plan.52 

Engender Better Appreciation of UAS Capabilities.52 

Address Organizational, Structural, and Training Infrastructure and Support Issues.53 

Initiatives with Likely Near-Term Payoffs. 54 

Institutionalizing Training for UAS Capabilities over the Longer Term.55 

Acculturation.55 

Professional Development.55 

Integration. 56 

Adaptation. 56 

Summary of Findings and Recommendations. 56 

Path to the Future.57 

APPENDIXES 

A. Current Major DoD UAS Programs in FY 2012.59 

B. The Department of Defense’s Traditional Acquisition System. 77 

C. Military Value Analysis of Unmanned Aircraft System Training Bases.81 


References 


91 

































Figures and Tables 


Figures 

5.1. UAS Training Framework. xi 

1.1. UAS Budgets from 1988 to 2013.3 

1.2. DoD Inventories for Medium and Large Unmanned Aircraft.3 

2.1. Select Rapid Acquisition Processes, Approaches, Authorities, and Funding 

Mechanisms.10 

3.1. UAS Training Framework for Army, Marine Corps/Air Force Joint Combat 

Operations. 20 

3.2. UAS Training Framework for Navy Tactical UAS. 22 

4.1. Army UAS Air Vehicle Operator and APO Training Pipeline. 27 

4.2. Shadow (top) and Gray Eagle UAVs. 28 

4.3. Raven UAS.29 

4.4. Army UAS Maintainer Pipeline. 30 

4.5. Air Force UAS Pilot and Sensor Operator Pipeline. 36 

4.6. Reaper (top) and Predator UASs.37 

4.7. Global Hawk UAS. 38 

4.8. Scan Eagle (top) and Fire Scout UASs. 43 

B. l. Defense Acquisition System.78 

C. l. Airspace Surrounding Fort Huachuca.82 

C.2. Airfield and Maintenance Facilities at Fort Huachuca.83 

C.3. Location of Fort Huachuca. 84 

C.4. Restricted and Non-Joint Use Class D Airspace near Holloman AFB.85 

C.5. MQ-l/MQ-9 Beddown Plan. 86 

C.6. Location of Holloman AFB.89 

Tables 

1.1. DoD UAS Platforms as of 2011.2 

3.1. UAS Tiers by Service.17 

4.1. Select Summary of Army UAS Installation Survey as of November 21, 2012.32 

C.L Beddown Plans. 87 

C.2. Facility Requirements. 88 


vii 






























Summary 


Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) have become increasingly prevalent in and important to 
U.S. military operations. The number of systems has surged, as has the slice of the defense 
budget allocated to them. Roles have also changed. Initially employed only as reconnaissance 
or intelligence platforms, they now carry out other missions, including attacking enemy forces. 
Successful operational tests and demonstrations of the expanded range of UAS capabilities 
have led to rapid fielding of new systems, often placing unanticipated demands on logistics 
and training systems and on field commanders to employ new systems effectively. UASs must 
now be integrated into the training programs of the services. Building a responsive, effective, 
and efficient UAS training program is a challenge during times of reduced budgets. Any new 
program must be based on a review of existing training capabilities and new investments across 
the services. 


Focus of this Research 

The Deputy Director, Readiness and Training Policy and Programs, in the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD [P&R]) asked the RAND National 
Defense Research Institute (NDRI) to assess the adequacy of UAS training to support cur¬ 
rent and future requirements. Proposals to resolve service and joint UAS training issues must 
be informed by a clear understanding of current problems, opportunities for correction, and 
associated costs and benefits of the corrections. In this report, we address a number of issues, 
including (1) a general concept for UAS training; (2) an appropriate framework to address UAS 
training requirements, including the use of simulators; and (3) the limitations of the infrastruc¬ 
ture to accommodate UAS training, including those due to national airspace restrictions. The 
research considers UASs in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, both those that are 
currently fielded and those that were planned to be fielded as of 2012. 


Disruptive Technologies and Acquisition Processes 

In 1995, Clayton Christensen introduced the term disruptive technology, distinguishing it from 
what he termed sustaining technology. In his nomenclature, a sustaining technology improves 
the performance of an existing system and does not require significant structural adjustments to 
processes, organizations, or operational paradigms. Disruptive technologies, however, change 
the way a business operates. The UAS is a disruptive technology. 


IX 



X Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


UASs found their way into the force by means of rapid acquisition procedures that were 
designed to deliver new technologies to the warfighter much faster than traditional procedures 
could, but often at the cost of not having in place the support these new systems required to 
become a sustained part of the force structure. Because of the rapid acquisition of these sys¬ 
tems, the services have had to rely upon contractor support in ways that are inconsistent with 
the full and sustaining integration of these systems into service inventories. Such integration 
starts with the development of an appropriate concept for training. 


Training Concepts and Frameworks 

We will begin by discussing the general ideas that should guide UAS training—the training 
concept. Then, we will consider how the parts identified in the concept fit together into a con¬ 
ceptual structure for that training—a framework designed to enhance combat power 

and other operational capabilities. 

Joint Operations; Multiservice Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures; and UAS Training 

Military operations today are usually referred to as joint operations, emphasizing the inter¬ 
dependence of the services. That might lead one to think that joint doctrine; joint concepts 
of operation; and joint tactics, techniques, and procedures would provide focus for training. 
Clearly, training does not take place for its own sake; it should be driven by doctrine. In his 
cover letter to Joint Publication 3-0, 2011, ADM Mike Mullen stated that it established “the 
framework for our forces’ ability to fight as a joint team,” but nowhere does it discuss the man¬ 
agement of UASs. Moreover, nowhere in any other joint publication is there a grand doctrine 
for the employment or management of UASs on the battlefield. While the services have agreed 
to a set of multiservice tactics, techniques, and procedures (MTTPs) to be incorporated into 
their respective training programs, note the use of multiservice rather joint. 

At least for the foreseeable future, each service will continue to field UASs and must 
bring to the fight forces fully capable of operating them and integrating their capabilities into 
operations. While grand doctrinal issues remain unresolved, common procedures agreed to 
and trained by the services will remain the foundation on which American military operations 
must be built. In this way, rather than being the foundation for UAS training, joint operations 
are the goal of such training, which must be firmly grounded on the UAS training each service 
gives both its supported and supporting units. 

The general concept we advance for UAS training here rests on the notion that the great¬ 
est beneficial effect—that is, an increase in the force s operational effectiveness—occurs with 
a synergy among the UAS platforms, those who operate them, and those who integrate them 
into combat operations. While the report considers training concepts for ground, air, and sea 
forces, they share a common framework. Figure S.l depicts our framework for ground and air 
forces; the one for naval forces is similar. 

The concept underpinning the framework calls for increasing integration of its several 
parts as the level of training moves up the pyramid. Army systems appear on the left. Air Force 
on the right. At the bottom, training begins with individual training for operators and leaders, 
grounding each group in the basics of the system. Training then progresses to the small unit 
level, which, as with individual training, is largely done at home station. Moving up the pyra¬ 
mid, training occurs at increasingly higher echelons, battalion and brigade. Moving to joint 


Summary xi 


Figure S.1 

LIAS Training Framework 


Army 


Full capability 


Air Force 


All 


Gray Eagle 


Gray Eagle 


Shadow and 
Raven, possibly 
Gray Eagle 


Shadow and 
Raven 


All: large 
systems usually 
simulated for 
leader training 


UAS integrated 
into training 


Operational 

experience 

Joint 

operational: 
CTCs, other exercise 

Operational: CTCs, 
larger-scale home 
station, MQT 

Tactical collective: 
home station, MQT 


Small unit: 
home station, MQT 


UAS integrated 
into training 


Individual training/orientation for operators and leaders: 
schools, home station, supplemental courses, MQT 


All 


Predator, 

Reaper 


Predator, 

Reaper 


Predator, 
Reaper 
if possible 

All: large 
systems usually 
simulated for 
leader training 


RAND RR440-S. 1 


operations involves Air Force units, which have gone through a similar process of progressive 
training. They join together in exercises, many of which are conducted at the large combat 
training centers (CTCs), to integrate close air support and Air Force UASs into the ground 
maneuver plan. 


Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012: Service and Interoperability 
Training and the Role of Simulators 

Service Training 

Speaking generally, the services have been relatively effective at training the individual skills 
required to operate and maintain the UASs, although the services differ in their approaches. 
The Army, which tends to use enlisted personnel to staff its UAS units, has developed courses 
that award Military Occupational Specialties for the operators and maintainers for its Shadow 
and Gray Eagle systems. Training for the Raven UAS, which is about the size of a large model 
airplane and is used to support lower-echelon units, is a unit responsibility carried out through 
a “train-the-trainer” concept. The Marines use officers who are qualified aviators or aviation 
command and control officers as pilots, and enlisted personnel operate the payloads. The Air 
Force pilots are officers and are either rated pilots who graduated from pilot training or UAS- 
only pilots who graduated from a program designed specifically for flying UASs. Sensor opera¬ 
tors for Reaper and Predator are either trained into a new career field or cross-trained from 
another Air Force Specialty Code. Those for Global Hawk come from the imagery analyst 














xii Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


career field. Maintenance personnel come through the Air Force s maintenance education and 
training programs. 

The more challenging part of the training comes at the integration level, where UAS 
personnel must meld their efforts with those of ground combat units. This occurs within and 
between services. Integration requires substantial practice under realistic conditions that do 
not occur frequently. Rotations at a CTC are often the only occasions, short of actual opera¬ 
tions in theater, in which commanders face the challenge of integrating all battlefield operat¬ 
ing systems at once, and the addition of the UASs necessarily complicates synchronization and 
integration tasks. Thus, it is not surprising that initial assessments of UASs during integrated 
training are, at best, mixed. 

The key concerns of UAS units tend to be similar across services. For ground and Air 
Force units, the concerns are beddown and support facilities, airspace limitations, and simula¬ 
tors. Many of the beddown and support issues can be resolved with relatively minor construc¬ 
tion. Some airspace issues, however, are not likely to improve. The Navy has airspace issues 
at specific installations but generally faces fewer restrictions because it can operate outside the 
12-mile coastal limit with relative freedom. 

Interoperability Training 

To date, interoperability training at the National Training Center (NTC) and the Joint Readi¬ 
ness Training Center has been limited. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has 
cited two significant challenges for improved interoperability training: (1) “establishing effec¬ 
tive partnerships with program stakeholders through comprehensive communication and 
coordination and (2) developing joint training requirements that meet combatant command¬ 
ers’ needs,” with particular emphasis on tactical-level training (GAO, 2005, p. 2).^ To meet this 
challenge, the Department of Defense (DoD) established an implementation plan that gives 
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness overall responsibility 
and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Readiness executive agent responsibility for 
training transformation planning, programming, budgeting, and execution progress.^ 

While RAND did not assess interoperability training in detail, our discussions with the 
training community, including trainers at the NTC, suggest that such training opportuni¬ 
ties have been limited because Air Force assets, particularly the Predator, have generally been 
unavailable due to pressing operational requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan. This same gen¬ 
eral observation was also reported by the GAO (2010b, p. 26). The problem of transiting 
Air Force UASs from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, to the NTC at Fort Irwin, Califor¬ 
nia, through Federal Aviation Administration-controlled airspace is often cited. Permanently 
stationing Air Force UAVs at the NTC, much as the Marine Corps has done by stationing 
Shadow UAS squadrons at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine 
Palms, California, to support training there, would of course negate that problem. However, 
the experience of the Marine Corps suggests that the mere presence of UASs will not ensure 


^ GAO, 2005, p. 18, noted that, 

[i]n the past, joint training tasks were primarily focused at the command level and were identified through DOD’s authori¬ 
tative processes that built requirements by translating combatant commander inputs into training requirements. Train¬ 
ing transformation has expanded joint training requirements to include those at the tactical level in addition to joint 
command-level training. 

^ See Director, Readiness and Training Policy and Programs, 2006. 



Summary xiii 


that the forces are properly trained. The forces must be prepared for such training at their home 
stations. In addition, given the common MTTP, forces trained to operate with their own ser¬ 
vice UASs should find working with UASs from the other services less challenging. 

Simulators 

Congress has pressed for information on the role simulators might play in a UAS training 
strategy, seeking an “informed balance between live training and simulated training.”^ But the 
conditions that make a compelling case for using simulators in the training of fighter pilots are 
largely absent when it comes to UAS training: 

1. UAS flying hours are much less expensive than flying hours for manned aircraft. 

2. The kinds of operational activities that need more training emphasis, in particular air- 
ground coordination, are generally not activities for which simulators per se can substi¬ 
tute for live flying. 

3. While simulators are an inherent part of the systems used for initial training of pilots 
and sensor operators,^ they are not well suited (and not designed) for training operating 
forces on the full spectrum of UAS capabilities. 

4. At best, simulators complement rather than substitute for live training. Given the cur¬ 
rent state of the fielding of UAS, first priority must be given to building the live flying 
infrastructure. Then, and only then, might funds be used to undertake the research 
and development that must precede any consideration of fielding the kind of interactive 
UAS air-ground simulators that could train both UAS crews and ground troops. 

We concluded that, given current budget limitations and the importance of fully devel¬ 
oping the opportunities for live training and the relatively low cost of such training, divert¬ 
ing funds to develop higher fidelity UAS-ground simulators would be unwise at this time. 
However, the Army’s air-ground integration ranges provide a good example of judicious use 
of simulators to do what simulators do best—in this case, scoring target hits without using 
expensive live munitions and without blowing up fairly expensive targets. In the future, the 
services should reevaluate the need for virtual training based on a cost and effectiveness analy¬ 
sis (COEA) that includes developmental costs for simulators, savings based on the costs of 
flying UASs, and the critical availability of air space for training. 


Implications and Recommendations 

The Guiding Principle: "Train As We Fight" 

DoD has been under some pressure from the Congress and such organizations as the General 
Accountability Office for the lack of central control and the lack of the development of joint 
DoD strategy for training. In reality, the services continue to develop UAS training initiatives 
primarily to meet their own unique requirements, and the opportunity for joint training is 
limited. Progress has, however, been made with the development of the MTTP and the recog¬ 
nition that interoperability training is a service responsibility. For now, DoD should encourage 


^ See, for example, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, undated. 

See Shawn Johnson, UAS cost per flying hours, personal communication, April 10, 2013. 


4 



xiv Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


each service to solve its own UAS training problems, not constrain any one service under the 
guise of joint training. Given strong service programs, there will be ample opportunity to focus 
on joint training in the future, when the opportunity presents itself Today, however, the ser¬ 
vices are still struggling with how to incorporate these new systems. The appropriate strategy 
for UAS training is to insist that the services train as they will fight. Accordingly, to train as we 
fight in the future, DoD training strategy must 

• engender better appreciation of UAS capabilities throughout the chain of command 

• address organizational, structural, and infrastructure and support issues 

• enable “train as we fight” in collective unit training 

• enable “train as we fight” in exercises. 

Initiatives with Near-Term Payoff 

To accomplish these goals, a number of initiatives should pay off in the near term, including 

1. increasing exposure to the capabilities and limitations of UASs 

2. harnessing the lessons-learned process to guide the development of service and joint 
doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures 

3. addressing well-known but underresourced training infrastructure shortfalls. 

Institutionalize Training for UAS Capabilities Over the Longer Term 

Institutionalization will require more-general efforts, including 

1. acculturation (Many end users do not yet have a well-developed appreciation of UAS 
capabilities.) 

2. development of a cadre of UAS professionals with hands-on experience in all echelons 
of UAS operation 

3. integration of UASs into service force structures 

4. adaptation, including 

a. accounting for the evolution of the roles of UASs in the full range of military opera¬ 
tions 

b. continuous resolution of UAS doctrinal issues. 


Summary of Findings and Recommendations 

The findings and recommendations are summarized below: 

1. The proper strategy for DoD at this time is to encourage each service to solve its own 
UAS training problems, rather than to constrain any one of them under the guise of 
joint operations. 

2. DoD should support current and future programs to develop ranges and beddown and 
support facilities similar to those in the Army’s current programs. 

3. In spite of the demands of deploying units and sustaining combat operations in Afghan¬ 
istan, Army trainers indicate that Army units are better at maintaining qualification for 
Shadows than for Ravens. Nevertheless, not all units have been able to maintain high 


Summary xv 


Shadow qualification rates—some units arrive at the NTC with one-half or fewer of 
their operators qualified. 

4. If joint training becomes a priority, the Air Force s current basing and beddown posture 
will become a problem. The Air Force could consider the location of Army hubs when 
choosing where to base its UAS fleet. A location that is near Army maneuver elements 
might make airspace access less of a restriction or at least make certificates of authori¬ 
zation more practical. Proximity might provide more opportunities for training UAS 
integration throughout the entire mission planning process. 

5. Given current budget limitations and the importance of fully developing the opportu¬ 
nities for live training and the relatively low cost of such training, diverting funds to a 
research and development program to develop higher-fidelity simulators would seem to 
be unwise at this time. 


Path to the Future 

This report presents and discusses a multitude of means for setting up UAS training strategies 
for success, including supporting ongoing facilities and basing initiatives; expanding such facil¬ 
ities, where possible, to enable wider availability of UASs to support collective training; and 
increasing the use of UASs—the complete UAS package, including joint tactical air controllers 
and other coordinating elements—in collective training, both local and in larger exercises. We 
have noted the need to support continuing efforts to resolve airspace access issues, observing 
as we did so that there are ways to keep such restrictions from imposing serious limitations 
on much of the UAS training envisioned here. Similarly, we have discussed the potential for 
simulators to add value in training, now and perhaps more in the future. But we have also 
cautioned that simulators in their current state are not a good substitute for live use of UASs 
in collective training. 

The path to the future for UAS strategies starts now, with support for ongoing initiatives 
that will continue the trends toward better training integration, thus improving the ability of 
end users to employ the multiple capabilities of UASs in their operations. The path continues, 
using that foundation, with longer-term efforts to add to acculturation of end users, profes¬ 
sionalization of the UAS community, and integration of the two to harmonize the capabilities 
of UASs as key elements of overall force effectiveness. 



Acknowledgments 


The research presented here is the result of numerous field visits and discussions with members 
of service and department staffs in the Pentagon, commanders and operations staffs in opera¬ 
tional arms of all the services, planners and training developers in service training commands, 
trainers and staffs at the various combat training centers, students in UAS operator schools, 
and UAS operators. So many shared information and data and providing thoughtful com¬ 
ments, advice, and insights that it is impossible to single out anyone without possibly slight¬ 
ing someone else. Moreover, the views expressed in this report are our own and should not be 
attributed to any individual or organization. 

We would be remiss, however, if we did not recognize the support we received from Frank 
DiGiovanni, Director of Training Readiness and Strategy in the Office of the Under Secretary 
of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), and Joan Vandervort, our project coordinator in Mr. 
DiGiovanni s Office. Their commitment to developing an appropriate training strategy for 
UASs was the driving force behind this study. 


xvii 




Abbreviations 


ABSAA 

airborne sense-and-avoid 

ACA 

airspace control authority 

AGO 

airspace control order 

ACTD 

advanced concept technology demonstration 

AECV 

All-Environment Capable Variant 

AFB 

Air Force base 

AFSC 

Air Force specialty code 

ALO 

air liaison officer 

AMB 

air mission brief 

AMPS 

Aviation Mission Planning System 

ARB 

Air Reserve base 

ATO 

air tasking order 

AVO 

air vehicle operator 

BAM 

broad area maritime 

BAMS-D 

Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator 

C2 

command and control 

CAOC 

combined air operations center 

CAP 

combat air patrol 

CAS 

close air support 

CCDR 

combatant commander 

COA 

certificate of authorization 

COCOM 

combatant commander 


XIX 



XX Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


CONUS 

continental United States 

CSC 

carrier strike group 

CTC 

combat training center 

DAS 

Defense Acquisition System 

DARPA 

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 

DDR&E 

Director of Defense Research and Engineering 

DoD 

Department of Defense 

DSB 

Defense Science Board 

FAA 

Federal Aviation Administration 

FAR 

Federal Acquisition Regulation 

FRS 

fleet replacement squadron 

FTU 

formal training unit 

FY 

fiscal year 

GAO 

Government Accountability Office 

GBSAA 

ground-based sense-and-avoid 

IQT 

initial qualification training 

ISR 

intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance 

JBFM 

Joint Base Fewis-McChord 

JFACC 

joint force air component commander 

JFC 

joint force commander 

JFCOM 

Joint Forces Command 

JIEDDO 

Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization 

JRAC 

Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell 

JTAC 

joint tactical air controller 

LAA 

limited acquisition authority 

LCS 

littoral combat ship 

FRF 

launch and recovery element 

MCAGCC 

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 

MGS 

mission control system 


Abbreviations xxi 


MOS 

MPO 

MTTP 

MQ-8B 

MQT 

NAS 

NCTE 

NDRI 

NTC 

OEF 

OIF 

PACOM 

PPBE 

REF 

RSTA 

RPA 

SOCOM 

SOF 

SOUTHCOM 

SPINS 

SUAS 

TACP 

TEMF 

TF 

TRADOC 

UAS 

UAV 

UGS 

USD (AT&L) 


military occupation specialties 
mission payload operators 

mulltiservice tactics, techniques, and procedures 
Fire Scout 

mission qualification training 
National Airspace System 
Naval Continuous Training Environment 
RAND National Defense Research Institute 
National Training Center 
Operation Enduring Freedom 
Operation Iraqi Freedom 
U.S. Pacific Command 

Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution 
Rapid Equipping Force 

reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition 

remotely piloted aircraft 

Special Operations Command 

special operations forces 

U.S. Southern Command 

special instructions 

small unmanned aircraft system 

tactical air control party 

tactical equipment maintenance facility 

task force 

Training and Doctrine Command 
unmanned aircraft system 
unmanned aerial vehicle 
Unmanned Ground School (Ft. Fluachuca) 

Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) 


xxii Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


USMC 

WSMR 

YTC 


U.S. Marine Corps 
White Sands Missile Range 
Yakima Training Center 


CHAPTER ONE 


Introduction 


UASs Play an Increasing Role on the Battlefield 

During the last decade, in large part because of the dynamic nature of operations during 
Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, recognition of the importance 
of developing new capabilities to meet the ever-changing threats our military forces face has 
grown. As a result, the Department of Defense (DoD) has undertaken operational and tech¬ 
nology demonstration projects to test new technologies and systems outside the traditional 
acquisition process. Many of these systems involve unmanned vehicles and some unmanned 
aircraft systems (UASs). In 2000, the DoD had fewer than 50 unmanned aircraft in its inven¬ 
tory; by 2012, it had more than 7,100, as shown in Table 1.1 (Gertler, 2012).^ The size of the 
Department s investment in these systems today similarly dwarfs prewar levels. In 2000, the 
DoD spent $284 million on UASs, while the 2010 budget for UASs has grown to over $6.1 bil¬ 
lion (GAO, 2010a, p. 1). Figure 1.1 shows the growth of UASs from 1988 to 2013. Figure 1.2 
shows projected growth in UAS programs as of 2012. 

UASs have two main advantages over manned aircraft: They eliminate the risk to a pilot s 
life, and they provide capabilities not subject to human limitations. They are also cheaper to 
procure and operate than manned aircraft. While they minimize risk to operational crews, 
they introduce new complications and hazards not associated with manned aircraft. While 
some think of UASs simply as a substitute for manned aircraft, UASs increasingly complement 
manned aircraft, providing new capabilities for the force to utilize. Combined UAS and heli¬ 
copter operations are but one example (McFeary, 2012). 

Originally, UASs were used to gather intelligence. During the Vietnam War, drones flew 
strategic reconnaissance missions over denied areas. The Israeli Air Force successfully used 
UASs during operations in Febanon in 1982 and for many years led the world in developing 
UASs and tactics for employment. Subsequently, longer-endurance systems introduced the 
ability to maintain surveillance on distant and moving targets. More recently, UASs originally 
designed for reconnaissance have been modified to carry precision-guided weapons to attack 
ground targets, greatly expanding the role such systems play on the modern battlefield. This 
also has expanded and complicated the training of UAS crews as full participants in the joint 
and combined arms battle. 

Successful operational tests and demonstrations of the expanded range of UAS capabili¬ 
ties have led to rapid fielding of new systems, often placing unanticipated demands on logistics 


1 


See Appendix A for descriptions of the major systems. 


1 




2 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Table 1.1 

DoD UAS Platforms as of 2011 


Name 

Vehicles 

Ground 

Control 

Stations 

Employing 

Service(s) 

Capability/Mission 

RQ-4A Global Hawk/ 

BAMS-D Block 10 

9 

3 

USAF 

Navy 

ISR 

Maritime domain awareness (Navy) 

RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 
20/30 

15 

3 

USAF 

ISR 

RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 40 

1 

1 

USAF 

ISR 

Battle management command and control 

MQ-9 Reaper 

54 

61 

USAF 

ISR 

RSTA 

EW 

Precision strike 

Force protection 

MQ-1A/B Predator 

161 

61 

USAF 

ISR 

RSTA 

Precision strike 

Force protection (MQ-1C Only-C3/LG) 

MQ-1 Warrior/MQ-1C Gray 
Eagle 

26 

24 

Army 

ISR 

RSTA 

Precision strike 

/force protection (MQ-1C Only-C3/LG) 

UCAS-D 

2 

0 

Navy 

Demonstration Only 

MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical 
takeoff and landing tactical 
UAV 

9 

7 

Navy 

ISR 

RSTA 

Antisubmarine warfare 

Antisurface warfare 

Mine warfare 

Organic mine countermeasures 

MQ-5 Hunter 

25 

16 

Army 

ISR 

RSTA 

Battle damage assessment 

RQ-7 Shadow 

364 

262 

Army 

USMC 

SOCOM 

ISR 

RSTA 

Battle damage assessment 

A160T Hummingbird 

8 

3 

SOCOM 

DARPA 

Army 

Demonstration 

Small tactical UASs 

0 

0 

Navy 

USMC 

ISR 

Explosive ordnance disposal 

Force protection 

ScanEagle 

122 

39 

Navy 

SOCOM 

ISR 

RSTA 

Force protection 

RQ-11 Raven 

5,346 

3,291 

Army 

Navy 

SOCOM 

ISR 

RSTA 

Wasp 

916 

323 

USMC 

SOCOM 

ISR 

RSTA 

SUAS AECV Puma 

39 

26 

SOCOM 

ISR 

RSTA 

Gasoline-powered micro air 
vehicle (gMAV) 

T-Hawk 

377 

194 

Army (gMAV) 

Navy 

(T-Hawk) 

ISR 

RSTA 

Explosive ordnance disposal 


SOURCE: Gertler, 2012, p. 8. 





Introduction 3 


Figure 1.1 

UAS Budgets from 1988 to 2013 



SOURCE: Gertler, 2012, p. 14. 

RAND RR440-1.1 


Figure 1.2 

DoD Inventories for Medium and Large Unmanned Aircraft 


1,800 



1,600 



1,400 


Navy/USMC inventory 

1,200 



1,000 


Army inventory 

800 



600 



400 


USAF inventory 

200 



0 

_^^_L- 

_ ^ ^^^^ _ 


2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 

SOURCE: Kempinski, B. (2011, Tables 1-2,1-3,1-4). Policy Options for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 
Congressional Budget Office. 


RAND RR440-1.2 


and training systems and on field commanders to employ the new systems effectively. UASs 
must now be integrated into the training programs of the services. 





4 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Building a responsive, effective, and efficient UAS training program is a challenge in a 
time of reduced budgets. Any new program must be based on a review of existing training 
capabilities and new investments across the services. 

Integrating UASs into the core operations of the DoD presents the kinds of special prob¬ 
lems that are common when new technologies appear and clash with existing ways of doing 
business. Such clashes happen frequently enough that there is a term for such innovations: 
disruptive technologies. The rapid introduction of UASs into operations in operations Endur¬ 
ing Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and the attendant force structure growth have presented just 
such challenges (as discussed in Chapter Two). The resulting disruption has contributed to lags 
in the ability of joint doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to keep pace and 
in the ability of joint training^ and service-specific managers to develop and execute training 
programs.^ 


Focus and Approach of this Research 

The Deputy Director, Readiness and Training Policy and Programs in the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness asked RAND to assess the adequacy of UAS 
training to support current and future requirements. Proposals to resolve service and joint 
UAS training issues must be informed by a clear understanding of current problems, oppor¬ 
tunities for correction, and associated costs and benefits of the corrections. In addition, the 
current extraordinary pressures on the overall federal budget, including the defense “top line,” 
and the ongoing review of U.S. strategy will likely have implications for force structure and 
basing, resulting in a number of yet-unknown factors that could profoundly affect the future 
of UAS programs. These uncertainties notwithstanding, a number of issues must be addressed: 
(1) a general concept for UAS training; (2) an appropriate framework for addressing UAS train¬ 
ing requirements, including the use of simulators; and (3) the airspace requirements necessary 
for UAS training. 

The research reported on here covers UASs in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine 
Corps as fielded and plans as they existed in 2012. Because of the increasing use of these 
unmanned systems to support to ground operations, the RAND effort has more closely exam¬ 
ined the interface between UASs and operating elements of ground forces. To this end, a team 
from RAND carried out extensive field visits to understand the current ability of the services to 
conduct (1) service-specific training and (2) joint training at both home station and joint train- 


^ Department of Defense Directive 1322.18, January 13, 2009, defines joint training as “Training, including mission 
rehearsals, of individuals, units, and staffs using joint doctrine or tactics, techniques, and procedures to prepare joint forces 
or joint staffs to respond to strategic, operational, or tactical requirements that the Combatant Commanders (CCDRs) 
consider necessary to execute their assigned or anticipated missions.” 

^ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 3500.OIG, March 15, 2012, p. C-2, defines service training as follows: 

Service Training: Service Active Component (AC) and RC training (including USSOCOM) is based on joint and Service 
policy and doctrine. Service training includes basic, technical, operational, and interoperability training to both individu¬ 
als and units in response to operational requirements identified by the CCDRs to execute their assigned missions. 

Joint Training. Training, including mission rehearsals, of individuals, staffs, and units, using joint doctrine and tactics, 
techniques, and procedures, to prepare joint forces or joint staffs to respond to strategic, operational, or tactical require¬ 
ments considered necessary by the CCDRs to execute their assigned or anticipated missions. 



Introduction 5 


ing facilities. Members of the team interviewed officials involved with UAS training operations 
at the following Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine installations and units: 

• Beale Air Force Base (AFB), California 

- Global Hawk operations and Distributed Common Ground Station 2 

• March Air Reserve Base (ARB), California 

- Air Force National Guard Ground Control Station school 

• Holloman AFB, New Mexico 

- (Air Force Predator and Reaper training) 

• Fort Irwin, California 

- (Air Force training support unit and selected individuals from the operations group) 

• Creech AFB, Nevada 

- (the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence and the operational UAS 
wing) 

• Fort Rucker, Alabama 

- Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) capability manager for UASs 

• Fort Huachuca, Arizona 

- TRADOC Capability Manager for Intelligence Sensors and the UAS Training Bat¬ 
talion 

• Fort Benning, Georgia 

- Maneuver Center of Excellence 

• Fort Campbell, Kentucky 

- 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 

• Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, California 

- Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) and two of three active US. 
Marine Corps (USMC) UAS squadrons 

• Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland 

- Naval Air Systems Command (Navy and Marine Corps) 

• Fort Eustis, Virginia 

- TRADOC Capability Manager for Live Fire Training, Army Capabilities Integration 
Center, and TRADOC G-3 

• North Island Naval Base, San Diego, California 

- Commander, Naval Air Forces. 

In addition, the RAND team had extensive discussions with the strategy and planning 
staffs at US. Pacific Command (PACOM) and US. Navy Pacific Command concerning rapid 
acquisition of new technologies, such as the UASs reported on here. In that process, the RAND 
team gained important insights into the challenges the services face, first in identifying new or 
disruptive technologies and then in using operational demonstrations or experiments to under¬ 
stand and develop the changes to operational concepts that these technologies would drive. 

During these visits, the RAND team talked with operators and support personnel; those 
who train operators and associated members of the team; those who train and observe the 
forces that employ UASs in their operations; staff elements concerned with the planning and 
resourcing of training, both for UAS operators and for the force more generally; and those 
concerned with the ongoing development of doctrine and concepts of operations for UASs, 
including their integration into operations. 



6 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Plan for the Report 

Chapter Two starts the report with a discussion of disruptive technologies, rapid acquisition 
processes, and the challenges the DoD faces in integrating UASs into the operations of the 
military departments. Chapter Three presents a general concept and a framework for train¬ 
ing focused on the integration of UASs into military operations. Using the framework, the 
assessment in Chapter Four considers the current ability of the services to conduct service- 
specific training at both home station and joint training facilities. This includes a compilation 
of observations and insights largely gained during our visits to the bases listed above, with our 
interpretation of their implications for the specification and resourcing of training strategies. 
Finally, Chapter Five summarizes our research and looks toward the evolving training strategy 
for DoD in the future. The appendixes present additional material, including a description of 
ongoing systems, a further discussion of the Defense Acquisition System (DAS), UAS descrip¬ 
tions, and infrastructure considerations and the results of a RAND assessment of training 
infrastructure. 


CHAPTER TWO 


The Case for and Implications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems 
Being a "Disruptive Technology" 


Over decades, DoD has developed a structured and deliberate approach for the way it acquires 
new systems, which is formalized in the DAS and the 5000 series of DoD instructions. How¬ 
ever, the exigencies of recent military operations have led DoD to develop new technology and 
acquire and field new systems without going through the steps the defense acquisition process 
generally requires. While near-term requirements drove such acquisition decisions, these deci¬ 
sions have long-term consequences. Rapid acquisition without a fully developed plan for how 
the new systems will be sustained over time may well diminish operational effectiveness. A 
potent example of such an effect is the extent to which the rapid and large-scale introduction 
of UASs has outpaced investments in the training infrastructure necessary to support the asso¬ 
ciated operation and maintenance. In the future, personnel will not be able to use or maintain 
the new systems properly. The Defense Science Board (DSB) made this point forcefully in 
2003: “(1) military proficiency is as dependent on the warriors who operate weapon systems 
as it is on the weapon system technology, and (2) a superb way to waste personnel or system 
acquisition money is to ignore training” (DSB, 2003, p. 2). Despite the inefficiency of poorly 
coordinated investments, the DSB found that “systems continue to be created and then fielded 
with little consideration for the costs that must be incurred during the life cycle to train the 
weapon s users” (DSB, 2003, p. 44). As it turns out, the difficulty of incorporating new tech¬ 
nologies into existing operations and processes is not unusual. It happens frequently enough 
that there is a term for such innovations: disruptive technologies. 


The Disruptive Technology Experience in the Business Community 

Clayton Christensen introduced the term disruptive technology in 1995. He distinguished dis¬ 
ruptive technology from what he termed sustaining technology. In his nomenclature, a sustain¬ 
ing technology improves the performance of an existing system and does not require significant 
structural adjustments to processes, organizations, or operational paradigms. Disruptive tech¬ 
nologies, however, change the way a business operates (Govindarajan, Kapalle, and Daneels, 
2011 ). 

Since the concept was first introduced, a number of studies have focused on ways that 
enable an organization to incorporate disruptive technologies. Christensen found that many 
organizations fail to meet the challenges disruptive technologies pose because they focus only 
on costs and not on how the new technologies change business processes and create new 
values for customers (Christensen and Overdorf, 2000). As Christensen used the term, prO' 


7 



8 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


cesses include the coordination, communication, decisionmaking, and interaction patterns that 
transform resources into a product. Under normal conditions, processes are stable. They are 
designed not to be easy to change, and this inertia can impede the adoption and exploitation of 
emerging disruptive technology (Looy, Martens, and Debackere, 2005). Tellis makes the point 
that, given limited resources, investments in unfamiliar technologies with unproven returns 
are opposed because they are seen as “cannibalizing” both resources and customers from estab¬ 
lished products (Tellis, 2006). Because it is often difficult to introduce such new technologies 
into existing business units, much of the literature discusses how “spinout” organizations were 
created to nurture these new technologies (e.g., Henderson and Clark, 1990). For example, in 
a study of several game-changing technological developments, te Kulve and Smit, 2010, found 
that successful new product lines usually had a “champion” with “dedicated change strategies” 
to further the introduction of disruptive technologies. 


Unmanned Aircraft Systems: A Case of Disruptive Technology for the 
Department of Defense 

Although DoD operates in a different environment with different incentive structures from 
those of the business community, it is not immune to the difficulties disruptive technologies 
have introduced in the private sector.^ From DoD s perspective, a technology is disruptive 
when it has the potential to alter the scope and effectiveness of military operations dramati¬ 
cally and is applied in sufficiently large numbers that it can no longer be supported in the same 
manner as during its initial development (i.e., the military must incorporate its support into 
its standard logistics and training systems). The UAS qualifies as a disruptive technology on 
multiple counts. First, as Christensen notes, the advent of the UAS changed the way the US. 
military operated, that is, its “business processes” changed. Second, UASs have broadened the 
scope of military operations substantially and greatly enhanced the effectiveness of both intel¬ 
ligence processes and strike operations. Finally, they have arrived in sufficient numbers that 
they now need to be integrated into the standard processes. 

As the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, concern grew about the lack of speed 
and responsiveness in the traditional process for getting new systems into the hands of war- 
fighters.2 Critics complained about bureaucratic processes that make the traditional system too 
slow and too risk averse to acquire and field effective solutions rapidly.^ As late in the conflicts 
as 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed frustration with the defense bureau¬ 
cracy, arguing “we must not be so preoccupied with preparing for future conventional and 


^ There are numerous examples of disruptive technologies and how they displaced formerly dominant technologies in 
both the private sector and the military: Just a few examples are commercial airlines displacing passenger trains, internal- 
combustion-engine vehicles replacing horse-drawn vehicles, aircraft carriers replacing battleships as the Navy’s capital ship, 
and tanks replacing cavalry. 

^ Appendix B describes DoD’s traditional acquisition system. 

^ For example, Lt. General Robert R Lennox, the Army‘s Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Resources, explained, 
“This is one of our most common topics of conversation: How do we rapidly field capabilities when technology advances so 
quickly?” (quoted in Erwin, 2010). 



The Case for and Implications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Being a "Disruptive Technology" 9 


Strategic conflicts that we neglect to provide both short-term and long-term all the capabilities 
necessary to fight and win conflicts such as we are in today.”^ 

A Challenge to the Traditional Acquisition System 

The virtues of the deliberate and structured traditional acquisition system must be weighed 
against the fact that the system can take years to field new capabilities. From requirements 
generation through the DAS and the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution 
(PPBE) process, the traditional acquisition system generally takes several years to meet materiel 
warfighter needs; some systems can take decades (GAO, 2010b). While this long time frame 
makes some sense for large and complex programs of record, it poses a significant challenge 
when required capabilities are needed more quickly or are focused more narrowly. This lack 
of responsiveness has led some observers to argue that the traditional system is not optimized 
for delivering the full spectrum of desired capabilities. While the system should, in theory, be 
adaptable for both small and large acquisition programs, it works best in practice for major 
defense acquisition programs. However, much recent acquisition activity has not been in the 
form of large programs of record that entail the institutional backing necessary for proper 
sustainment strategies. The fast rate and large volume demanded for unfamiliar technologies, 
in particular, have strained the system and pressured traditional acquisition relationships to 
change. 

Rapid Acquisition Programs Met the Challenge 

To meet an urgent demand to incorporate new technologies, a series of acquisition processes 
was created outside the traditional acquisition process and was unencumbered by the prior 
restrictions designed to mitigate cost, capability, and schedule risk. Unfortunately, while these 
“workarounds” fostered the fielding of numerous systems, they generally neglected to provide 
for the institutional sustainment—training and logistical support—needed to facilitate intro¬ 
ducing these systems into the force on any basis other than as technology demonstrations. 
Figure 2.1 captures the proliferation of a selection of these rapid acquisition processes. Below, 
we discuss several of the more important ones. 

Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration 

In 1994, in response to recommendations from the Packard Commission and the DSB, DoD 
introduced the advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) (Drezner, Sommer, and 
Leonard, 1999, p. 23). The Global Hawk UAS, which has found broad applicability in the 
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, began as an ACTD. This approach to technological develop¬ 
ment was intended to improve speed and promote innovation by limiting acquisition hurdles. 
A system designated as an ACTD could use streamlined management and had reduced over¬ 
sight requirements (Drezner, Sommer, and Leonard, 1999, p. xiv). ACTDs were intended to 
bridge the innovation-adoption gap by existing somewhere beyond demonstration of technical 
feasibility without quite yet becoming major defense acquisition programs. Toward the same 
end of nudging innovation and eliminating procedural hurdles, in 1994 the National Defense 


^ Gates’ distinction reflects what is often a difficult balance between short- and long-term requirements and planning hori¬ 
zons. This creates an institutional tension that has, for example, made the military departments resistant to prioritizing the 
acquisition of unmanned technology that had near-term applicability but that was not intended to be part of a longer-term 
vision. See Gates, 2008. 



10 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Figure 2.1 

Select Rapid Acquisition Processes, Approaches, Authorities, and Funding Mechanisms 


Abbreviated Acquisition Programs 

I Task Force Observe, 
Detect, Identify, 

Rapid Deployment Capability Neutralize 


Asymmetric Warfare Group 


Rapid 

Biometrics Equipping 
Task Force Force 


Air Force 

Army 

Navy 


Warfighter Rapid 
Acquisition 
Programs 


Rapid 

Fielding 

Initiative 


Counter 
Rocket, 
Artillery 
and Mortar 


Rapid 

Development 

and 

Deployment 


Base 

Expeditionary 
Target and 
Surveillance 
Sensors- 
Combined 
Task Force 


1984 1988 1992 1994 1996 1998 


2008 2010 


USD (AT&L) 
DDR&E 
DARPA 
COCOMs 


Other Transaction 
Authority (OTA) 
"DARPA Agreements 
Authority" 


Quick 

Reaction 

Fund 


Advanced Concept 
Technology Demonstration 
(ACTD) 


Technology Transfer 
Initiative 


Rapid 

Acquisition 
Authority 

Joint Rapid 
Acquisition 
Cell 

Limited Acquisition 
Authority 

SOURCE: Derived from Anderson (1992), AUSA (2003), DSB (2009b), GAO (1998), GAO (2010b), 
Sullivan (2009a), Thirtle (1997). 

RAND RR440-2.1 


MRAP 
Task 
Force 

JIEDDO 


Intelligence, 
Surveillance, 
Reconnaissance 
Task Force 


Authorization Act introduced an authority that allowed the Defense Advanced Research Proj¬ 
ects Agency (DARPA), long seen as a mechanism for moving innovative ideas toward materiel 
solutions, more flexibility in contracting; facilitated use of commercial practices; and waived 
certain Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) and other laws (Drezner, Sommer, and Leon¬ 
ard, 1999, p. 27). 

Limited Acquisition Authority 

In time of war, new requirements arise that the long and deliberate acquisition system is ill 
suited to meet. As a result, both Congress and DoD s civilian leadership put in place ad hoc 
arrangements to seed the development and fielding of new systems. In fiscal year (FY) 2004, 
Congress granted the Secretary of Defense the authority to delegate a limited acquisition 
authority (LAA) to Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) to speed the research and development 
and limited fielding of new systems (GAO, 2007a). However, LAA is an authority, rather than 
a program, and does not translate into budgeted funds.^ In the first three years of the authority. 


^ JFCOM had to reallocate funding from its own budget or gain funds from another DoD organization. Over one-half 
the programs JFCOM supported came from its own budget. In addition, after the systems were acquired, funds were not 





















The Case for and Implications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Being a "Disruptive Technology" 11 


JFCOM used the LAA to support six projects. After that, LAA activities slowed significantly, 
a trend GAO suggests may be linked to lack of access to funding (GAO, 2007a, p. 3). 

Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell 

The Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell (JRAC), also established in 2004 by the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense and organized in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Tech¬ 
nology, and Logistics, constituted another rapid acquisition program. The intent of this cell was 
to meet new requirements that the combatant commanders (COCOMs) identified as opera¬ 
tionally critical; the COCOMs’ prominent role in JRAC has led some to tag it the “COCOMs 
acquisition process” (Middleton, 2006, p. 19; see GAO, 2010b, p. 1). During its initial three 
years, JRAC supported 24 programs, at a cost of $335.5 million.^ These funds came primarily 
from war supplemental appropriations and were not part of the military departments’ pro¬ 
grams or budgets. A 2009 DSB report found that this meant that “these programs continue to 
lack serious institutional commitments; very little is being built into the service or other DOD 
budgets for these programs” (DSB, 2009, p. 6). While JRAC required a life-cycle plan as part 
of the acquisition process, the DSB found this planning inadequate. Training relied more “on 
learning on the job with little emphasis on support, training, and sustainment.” (DSB, 2009, 
p. 6). The typical institutional support in the services that is needed to fund, for example, 
investments in the training infrastructure does not exist for every rapidly acquired system. 

Rapid Equipping Force 

In 2002, the Army established the Rapid Equipping Force (REF), whose mission was to equip 
operational commanders with technological solutions to urgent war needs in no more than 
six months (DSB, 2009, p. 12). In 2005, the REF was made permanent (Kennedy, 2006, 
pp. 43-45). The organization began with a staff of 14 personnel, which expanded to 150 by 
2007 (Dietrich, 2007, p. 5). In 2005 alone, it purchased more than 20,000 items, including 
robots, surveillance systems, digital translators, and weapon accessories (Dietrich, 2007, p. 6). 
The REF supported the rapid acquisition and fielding of a widely adopted technology called 
PackBot, which became a vital tool in the identification and defusing of deadly improvised 
explosive devices. The REF also supported other unmanned and robotic technology, includ¬ 
ing the development of the battery-powered, hand-launched, and camera-equipped Tactical 
Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2005. The REF project leader described that UAV 
as a technology that allowed soldiers to “go into situations knowing what’s in front of them” 
(Ainsworth, 2005). REF purchased the mini-UAV commercially and, after some software 
modifications, quickly had it ready for theater operations (Miles, 2005). Yet, insufficient con¬ 
sideration for back-end support reportedly plagued early REF efforts, and steps have been 
taken to ameliorate the difficulties. COL Gregory Tubbs, REF director, conceded that the 
early ad hoc “wild west” days of REF logistical support were a challenge (Kennedy, 2004). 


readily available for long-term sustainment. A 2005 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies called 
for providing rapid acquisition approaches with more-secure funding: “Urgent requirements will be met much faster if they 
can be resourced without taking funds from existing programs” (Murdock and Flournoy, 2005, p. 98). 

^ The process begins when a COCOM identifies and validates an urgent operational needs statement (or a joint urgent 
operational needs statement for joint requirements), defined as “urgent, combatant commander-prioritized operational 
needs that, if left unfilled, could result in loss of life and/or prevent the successful completion of a near term military mis¬ 
sion.” Immediate warfighter needs were the urgent operational needs statements certified as requiring a solution in 120 days 
or less. For a given system, JRAC is authorized to expend $365 million in research, testing, development, and evaluation 
funds and up to $2.19 billion in procurement. See GAO, 2007a, p. 12. 



12 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Task Force 

The high value placed on UASs, specifically in new intelligence, surveillance, and reconnais¬ 
sance roles, can be seen in the robustly funded Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnais¬ 
sance (ISR) Task Force, which supported the fielding of numerous unmanned systems. In 
spring 2008, Secretary Gates established this task force to expedite the fielding of ISR assets 
to combat areas (Sherman, 2008). The task force originally had a 120-day charter; two years 
after the task force s founding, the secretary announced that it would become a permanent part 
of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (Bennett, 2010). Its mission 
was to address unmet ISR requirements and to rapidly acquire and field capabilities by coor¬ 
dinating activities and pursuing innovative solutions (Loxterkamp, 2010). The ISR Task Force 
was to recommend ways to maximize the availability of systems in the inventory and to boost 
acquisition of additional systems (Best, 2010, p. 17). In FY 2008 alone. Congress approved the 
reprogramming of $1.3 billion based on ISR-TF recommendations (GAO, 2008b). Among the 
systems the task force supported were the Navy’s unmanned MQ-8 Fire Scout and the fielding 
and sustainment of 50 unmanned Predators. 

Informal Approaches to Rapid Acquisition 

The formal approaches highlighted above support rapid acquisition in a variety of ways. Some 
consist of an acquisition authority but no money (LAA); some consist of funding (REF); some 
facilitate stronger requirements inputs (JRAC); and some, like Special Operations Command 
(SOCOM), have everything. Yet importantly, some rapid acquisition has taken place outside 
even these ad hoc institutional arrangements. For example, in one case, the personal rela¬ 
tionships enabled rapid acquisition of command and control (C2) systems. In another, ADM 
James Stavridis instituted a “culture of innovative thought” into U.S. Southern Command 
(SOUTHCOM) by developing his own in-house technical capabilities through a process he 
called Linking Plans to Resources, an approach aiming to associate capabilities with specific 
solutions (Hicks, 2008, p. 33). He chartered the Joint Innovation and Experimentation Direc¬ 
torate, tasking it with improving how the command trains, fights, and does business (Stavridis, 
2010, p. 177). This small innovation staff was to “research, explore, and test emerging technol¬ 
ogies available commercially or through Federal research centers” (Stavridis, 2010, p. 89). The 
directorate was to take the lead in identifying new and creative ways of meeting the command 
missions, and was given the primary responsibility for “developing validated solutions into an 
initial operational capability,” materiel or nonmateriel (Stavridis, 2010, pp. 178-179). These 
innovations, looking for better ways to link requirements to resources and developing in-house 
capabilities for acquiring solutions, reflected new acquisition roles. 

PACOM’s version was the Plans to Resources to Outcomes Process, which helped in the 
development of the command’s integrated priority list. PACOM also developed its own in- 
house means of meeting requirements (Murdock and Flournoy, 2005, p. 40). PACOM’s Joint 
Innovation and Experimentation Division uses the integrated priority list to develop rapid, 
innovative solutions for filling the gap and injecting them into PACOM exercises. Similarly, in 
2009, U.S. European Command appointed a special assistant for innovation and technology 
to field equipment for the war in Afghanistan. Navy Captain Jay Chestnut, special assistant in 
charge of the project, explained that European Command “knows that ‘big acquisition’ [the 
traditional system] is trying to do the right thing but sometimes you need someone working 
on the side, looking innovatively” (Francis, 2009). 


The Case for and Implications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Being a "Disruptive Technology" 13 


In addition to the development of in-house approaches, informal rapid acquisition has 
also involved forging relationships between the COCOMs and technical expertise outside 
the military departments. As described by Stavridis, SOUTHCOM worked to both build 
in-house staff and forge relationships with a “technological base” external to the organiza¬ 
tion. He highlights, in particular, the partnership with DARPA, in which DARPA pursues 
“exploration and technology where risk and payoff are both very high, and where success may 
provide dramatic advances” to the SOUTHCOM mission (Stavridis, 2010, p. 89). Included in 
Admiral Stavridis’ list of outcomes of this productive symbiotic relationship with DARPA are 
unmanned aerial craft and unmanned surface vessels. 

The Use of Fast Track Authorities Can Cause Problems 

For acquisitions to be “rapid,” certain aspects of the traditional acquisition process have been 
left out. In many cases, it is the training and support planning that have been omitted. In 
2008, the GAO reported that the 

rapid fielding of new systems and the considerable expansion of existing Air Force and 
Army programs has [sic] posed challenges for military planners to fully account for UAS 
support elements, such as developing comprehensive plans that account for personnel and 
facilities needed to operate and sustain programs.” (GAO, 2010a, p. 37) 

Because many of these programs do not pass through the system development and demonstra¬ 
tion phase or a logistics supportability analysis, the data needed to generate training and sup¬ 
port planning and ultimately guide investment decisions are unavailable. In 2010, the GAO 
found that the Air Force had not developed a servicewide plan that identified the number of 
personnel to be trained, the specific training required, and the resources necessary to establish 
a dedicated UAS training pipeline (GAO, 2010a). The Air Force has reportedly been struggling 
to staff significant increases in unmanned systems (Baldor, 2010). Going from a handful of 
drones in 2007 to 45 by 2010, with plans to operate 50 by 2011 and 65 by 2013, had created 
significant resource challenges for the department. These resource challenges became heavily 
pronounced with the “surge” in UAS requirements for operations in Libya and Afghanistan 
beginning in March and extending into summer 2011. The Air Force, to fulfill combat air 
patrol (CAP) requirements, stood down a portion of its formal training structure to form three 
CAPs (U.S. Air Force, 2011). As the Air Force’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, 
and Requirements explained in 2010, the “number one manning problem in our Air Force is 
manning our unmanned platforms” (Baldor, 2010). 

The GAO similarly found that the Army’s personnel authorizations were insufficient to 
support UAS operations. The Army has determined on at least three separate occasions since 
2006 that Shadow UAS platoons did not have adequate personnel to support the near-term 
and projected pace of operations (GAO, 2010a). Officials from seven Army Shadow platoons 
in the United States and Iraq told the GAO that approved personnel levels for these platoons 
did not provide an adequate number of vehicle operators and maintenance soldiers to support 
operations (GAO, 2010a). Army officials told the GAO that currently approved personnel 
levels for the Shadow platoons were based on planning factors that assumed that the Shadow 
would operate for 12 hours per day with the ability to extend operations to up to 16 hours for a 
limited time (GAO, 2010a). However, personnel with these platoons told the GAO that UASs 
in Iraq routinely operated 24 hours per day for extended periods (GAO, 2010a). Army officials 


14 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


also reported that combat brigades and divisions require additional personnel to provide UAS 
expertise to assist commanders in making effective use of new technological systems (GAO, 
2010a). 

UASs exemplify the challenges of integrating training and sustainment considerations 
outside the strictures of the formal acquisition process. Ad hoc rapid acquisition processes were 
able to field UASs rapidly, but because of the nature of these processes, the fielded UASs lacked 
sustainable institutional support and funding needed for future investments in the training 
infrastructure. Frequently, the services try to sustain and support these programs by relying on 
contractors, just as they did during system development.^ Of course, employing contractors to 
provide training is not in itself a problem. But it does reflect the extent to which training has 
been more about expediency than about effective institutionalization, particularly with regard 
to the imperative to train as we fight and the need to fully appreciate the need to integrate UAS 
training across the full spectrum of combat units. 


^ For example, the Air Force continues to rely on contractors to perform a considerable portion of UAS maintenance. For 
example, contractors perform approximately 75 percent of organization-level maintenance requirements for the Air Combat 
Command’s Predator and Reaper UASs. See GAO, 2010a. 



CHAPTER THREE 


Training Concept and Framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems 


We will begin by discussing the general ideas that should guide UAS training—the training 
concept. Then, we will consider how the parts identified in the concept fit together into a con¬ 
ceptual structure for that training—a vc 2 \x)\.Vi^ framework designed to enhance combat power 
and other operational capabilities. Note that the term UAS can be misleading. In fact, there 
is not a single UAS but rather a family of aircraft that share the common feature that they fly 
without a pilot on board. ^ These aircraft have very different personnel and training require¬ 
ments. The vast majority of UASs support ground operations, and that will be our primary 
focus. As noted in Table 1.1, ground forces—the Army and Marine Corps—own many of 
these systems themselves, but the Air Force owns some of them and often flies them in support 
of ground operations. UASs are sometimes flown in support of conventional ground operations 
and sometimes in support of special operations. Our main focus is on support of conventional 
forces. UASs are now also being developed that will support maritime forces, and we also con¬ 
sider them. 


Training Transformation, Joint Doctrine, Joint Operations, and UASs 

Large military operations today are usually joint operations requiring and emphasizing the 
interdependence of the services. It follows naturally that joint doctrine, joint concepts of opera¬ 
tion, and joint TTP would provide focus for training. Accordingly, the DoD s Training Trans¬ 
formation Implementation Plan requires that in order to “improve joint force readiness” there 
be a “unity of effort in training across Services, agencies and organizations.That said, joint 
training guidance and publications generally provide guidance direction on the coordination 
and collaboration among elements of different services to optimize the joint employment of 
their various capabilities, and not on the employment of any one, specific system or even family 
of systems, such as UASs. 

Clearly, training does not take place for the sake of training; it should be driven by 
doctrine. Thus, in line with the general focus described above, JP 3-0 (2001) “establishes the 
framework for our forces’ ability to fight as a joint team,” but nowhere does the document dis¬ 
cuss the management of UASs or any other specific system. Moreover, nowhere in any other 
joint publication is there a grand doctrine for the employment or management of UASs on 


^ In 2014, the Air Force republished its vision for its system, replacing the term unmanned aircraft systems with the term 
remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) (U.S. Air Force, 2014, p. iii). 

^ See Director, Readiness and Training Policy and Programs, 2006, p. 5. 


15 




16 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


the battlefield. However, the services have agreed to a set of TTP to be incorporated into their 
respective training programs. They describe these as a “multiservice” rather than a joint TTP, 
thereby avoiding doctrinal issues on how to deploy and manage UAS even as the services sup¬ 
port joint operations. 

Air Force Maj David Buchanan explored the difficulty of developing a joint doctrine for 
UASs in a 2010 Naval War College paper, summing up the difference this way: The Air Force 
believes in centralized control, and the Army believes in decentralized operations. He noted 
that the 

Air Force s proposal to assume executive agency for all medium- and high-altitude UASs in 
March 2007 was an attempt to establish unity of command and increase UAS efficiencies. 

... The Army’s position ... was that a single-service approach to UAS employment would 
infringe on the effectiveness of UASs in combat. 

The Air Force’s centralized approach may result in a more efficient allocation of limited 
UAS assets, but that efficiency comes at the cost of combat effectiveness. The Army’s answer 
to regain effectiveness has been to decentralize command and control for its unmanned 
aircraft systems. Ground commanders rely on UASs to provide timely, relevant, and useful 
intelligence without the lengthy processing and dissemination associated with the Air 
Force’s centrally controlled, theater-wide assets. The Army’s Training and Doctrine Com¬ 
mand noted that the joint (CAOC [combined air operations center]) solution to meeting 
the high demand for these low-density assets has been ineffective, arguing against relying 
on the JFACC [Joint Force Air Component Commander] for UAS coverage. (Buchanan, 

2010, p. 7). 

jp 3-55.1 reflects a more service-centric notion of jointness.^ When it was written in 
1993, UASs were primarily thought of as reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition 
(RSTA) assets. As envisioned then, mission planning was to be “based on the requirements of 
the supported unit,” with due consideration for “airspace management conflicts” (JP 3-55.1, 
1993, p. II-9). 

Over time and with practical experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, the utility of UASs 
has expanded from consisting primarily of ISR to include armed surveillance and armed over¬ 
watch (e.g., for movement support and area security), targeting, communications support, 
attack, strike, and engagement; in the future, it will further expand to encompass logistical 
support and casualty evacuation missions. This expanded range of missions presents a chal¬ 
lenge that was addressed in 2011 with the publication of a common set of multiservice TTP 
(MTTP).^ Each of the four services has agreed to incorporate the MTTP into its respective 
training. The agreed-to MTTP document requires that 


^ JP 3-55.1, 1993, p. II-l, states that the 

[p]rimary mission of UAS units is to support their respective Service component commands as a tactical RSTA system 
providing the commander a capability to gather near-real-time data on opposing force position, composition, and state of 
readiness. However, as is the case with all assets and groupings within the joint force, the joint force commander (JFC) has 
full authority to assign missions to and task component UAS to conduct operations in support of the overall joint force. 

^ Reflecting the multiservice, rather than joint, nature of the document, each service has assigned its own number to it: 
Army Tactics, Techniques and Procedures 3-04.15, Marine Corps Reference Publication 3-42.1 A, Navy Tactics, Tech¬ 
niques and Procedures 3-55.14, and Air Force Tactics, Techniques and Procedures 3-2.64. From here onward in this report, 
we will refer to the document simply as “the MTTP.” 



Training Concept and Framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems 17 


group 3-5 UAS operations will be coordinated with the ACA (airspace control authority) 
and included in the ACO (airspace control order), SPINS (special instructions) and the 
ATO (air tasking order) in order to separate UASs from manned aircraft and to prevent 
engagement by friendly air defense systems. (MTTP, 2011, p. 12) 

Table 3.1 describes the five UAS groups. The TTP for UASs that the services agreed to rec¬ 
ognize that UASs may either be controlled by a centralized or joined C2 node (MTTP, 2011, 
p. 15) or be operated independently and that the service component commander may retain 
operational control of UASs (MTTP, 2011, p. 16), thereby avoiding the doctrinal issue that 
divided the Army and Air Force. In general, UAS control during the execution of an opera¬ 
tion should be at the lowest tactical level to streamline the decision time lines and thus opti¬ 
mize responsiveness. The MTTP provides vignettes to help supporting and supported units 
understand how to incorporate and use available UAS assets more effectively. It should also 
be noted that no distinction is made between organic and nonorganic UAS support (MTTP, 
2011, p. 40). 

At least for the foreseeable future, each service will continue to field UASs and must bring 
to the fight forces fully capable of operating these aircraft and integrating their capabilities into 
joint operations. While some overarching doctrinal issues remain unresolved, the common 
procedures the services have agreed to and train for will remain the foundation on which UAS 
operations must be built, just as they are for military operations more generally. In this way, 
rather than being the foundation for UAS training, joint training is the apex of such training, 
which must be firmly grounded on the UAS training each service gives both its supported units 
and the supporting UASs.^ This is the main focus of this report. 


The UAS Training Concept: A General Notion for UAS Training 

The contribution that UASs make to the modern battlefield results from a synergy among the 
platforms themselves, those who operate the platforms, and those who incorporate the UASs 
into the battle. Combat power cannot expand unless all three work together. A platform flown 


Table 3.1 

UAS Tiers by Service 


Group 

Capability 

Examples 

1 

Hand-launched, self-contained, portable systems employed for a small unit 
or base security. 

RQ-11A/B Raven 

II 

Small to medium in size and usually support brigade and intelligence, 
surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition requirements. 

ScanEagle 

III 

Operate at medium altitudes with medium to long range and endurance. 

RQ-7 Shadow 

IV 

Relatively large UASs that operate at medium to high altitudes and have 
extended range and endurance. 

MQ-1 Predator 

V 

Large, high-altitude, long-endurance UAV platforms 

RQ-4 Global Hawk 


SOURCE: DoD, 2011, pp. D-2 and D-3 


^ The terms supported unit and the supporting UAS are basic constructs of MTTP, 2011, p. 9. 






18 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


by a skilled pilot does not add anything to the battle unless those on the ground who are 
engaged know how to exploit the information and other support the UAS provides. Similarly, 
if the pilot and payload operator cannot respond to the ground commander, the support they 
provide will not be what the commander needs. Only when all three work together will UASs 
be effective as a force multiplier. This can be achieved through training and practice that brings 
the platform, the operator, and the users together, starting at home station and progressing 
through ever-more-complicated exercises at the major training centers, such as the National 
Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California; the MCAGCC at Twentynine Palms, Cali¬ 
fornia; and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Accordingly, how to 
achieve this synergy is the fundamental organizing concept for UAS training. 

Let us be clear. The organizing concept developed here is not built around the training 
of a UAS pilot or payload operator per se. Their proficiency is certainly a necessary condition 
for UAS operations but is not, by itself, sufficient to enhance combat power. Enhanced combat 
power is achieved through the synergistic process that brings the platforms, the operators, and 
the users together. It starts at home station with small UASs and builds through the echelons 
of the ground forces as larger UASs are integrated into the combat operations of higher-echelon 
formations. Properly done, the maintenance or refinement of proficiency levels for UAS pilots 
and payload operators will be achieved incidental to the training that should take place with 
ground forces. But even before training can start, the services must decide how these systems 
will be used and how they will be incorporated into the force. 

A Concept of Operations for UASs Is a Prerequisite for Training 

As noted in the previous chapter, UASs are a classic disruptive technology. Integrating them 
into existing military operations is still a work in progress. This creates a problem for those 
charged with building training programs because, before training can start, the services must 
decide how these systems will be used and how they will be incorporated into the force. The 
services are still learning how best to use these new systems and the capabilities they provide. 
Each service is doing it differently. 

Army 

Initially, the UAS was thought of as just another platform for RSTA sensors, and the intelli¬ 
gence community was the proponent in the Army. In 2003, proponency for UASs transferred 
from Army Military Intelligence to the Army Aviation Branch. Since then, the UAS role in the 
Army has been changing from the relatively passive intelligence-gathering mission to the more 
active scout-reconnaissance and attack missions. One consequence of this transition is that 
UAS operators frequently team with manned aircrews to perform the scout-reconnaissance 
role. However, UAS operators and manned aircraft crews are currently separate communities 
and undergo separate programs of training. 

At another level, the Army is experimenting with how to support the Raven, a small, 
hand-launched UAV. There is no dedicated military occupational specialty (MOS) for Raven 
operators. Being a Raven operator is an additional duty that requires additional training. 
Master Raven Training, a three-week train-the-trainer course, takes place both in the class¬ 
room and in the field. Students are taught how to maintain and operate the equipment and 
how to judge when and when not to fly. The plan calls for the trainer to return to home station 
and train squad-level personnel to operate the Raven. 


Training Concept and Framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems 19 


Navy 

The Navy has a different scheme for integrating the Fire Scout UAS and Broad Area Mari¬ 
time Surveillance (BAMS) into the fleet. Typically, maintainers and pilots for Fire Scout have 
already gained technical training on manned helicopters. The Fire Scout-specific training is 
six weeks long and takes place at the Fire Scout Training Center at Naval Air Station Jackson¬ 
ville, Florida (U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, undated). 

The Navy’s version of the Air Force’s Global Hawk is the MQ-4C Triton, developed 
under the BAMS program. While the Navy continues to fly it to refine TTP for use in a mari¬ 
time environment, the concept is for it to be integrated into active Navy maritime patrol units 
to complement the P-8 Poseidon, Boeing’s 737-based multimission maritime aircraft, a tradi¬ 
tional manned aircraft. 

Air Force 

The Air Force has yet another concept of operations that emphasizes remote split operations 
and reaches back to the Global Operations Center at Creech AFB, Nevada. Today, six opera¬ 
tions centers in the continental United States (CONUS) support five launch-and-recover units 
in theater. Integration with tactical units is through tactical air control parties (TACPs) at the 
division, brigade, and battalion levels, and often at lower levels when supporting special opera¬ 
tions forces (SOF). The TACPs coordinate directly with the Predator operations center via 
ultrahigh frequency radios on the aircraft or via satellite communications. As with other Air 
Force assets (and many air assets of other services), UAS assets are assigned to support ground 
commanders through the ATO. In the Air Force, the UAS pilots and payload operators are 
commissioned officers. 

Marine Corps 

The Marine Corps has dedicated UAV squadrons located at the MCAGCC at Twentynine 
Palms, California, and recently at Camp Pendleton, California. In the Marine Corps, enlisted 
Marines are responsible for almost every facet of the mission, from flying the aircraft and oper¬ 
ating the payload camera to takeoffs and landings. 

Summary 

Even as the services are experimenting with the best way to use UASs and to integrate them 
into their forces, the overall purpose for UAS training should be clear. It is to increase combat 
power through the synergistic process that brings the platforms, the operators, and the users 
together. Putting these pieces together is the primary theme of the training framework we 
present. 

Training Framework for Tactical UASs 

The focus of the UAS training framework we offer is the enhancement of combat power, which 
starts with well-trained individuals who learn to work as a unit and ultimately leads to units 
that coordinate their efforts to produce military force. As we have seen, however, each service 
uses UASs differently. 

Moreover, the great variety of UASs adds to this complexity. UASs are classified into tiers. 
Military planners designate the various individual aircraft elements in an overall usage plan 
using a tier system. The tiers do not refer to specific models of aircraft but rather to roles the 


20 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


aircraft typically fill. Table 3.1 shows the UAS groups and their roles and offers the examples 
of systems assigned to them. 

The following discussion of training frameworks refers primarily to tactical UASs and not 
such Tier V systems as Global Hawk and its naval variant, the BAMS-D Triton. 

The Training Framework for Ground Combat: Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force 

The pyramid shown in Figure 3.1 represents our idea of the training framework to enhance 
combat power for the Army and Marine Corps, integrating organic UASs and Air Force 
UASs, when available, in support of ground forces. It is a graphic representation of the syn¬ 
ergy achieved through training and practice that brings the platform, the operator, and the 
users together, starting at home station and progressing to higher echelons and ever-more- 
complicated battle exercises. The services have committed to align their training with the 
agreed-to MTTP. As with any good framework, the UAS framework must have a strong base. 
The base of this framework, represented by the lowest level of the pyramid, includes the initial 
and individual skills training of those who operate, maintain, and use the systems. The higher 
levels of the pyramid roughly align with the echelons of ground forces from the platoon or 
squad level through the company level and moving up to battalions, then to brigades. Each 
level incorporates the C2 of subordinate units to create combat power that is more than the 
sum of its parts. A battalion is more than just a collection of companies, each of which is more 
than just a collection of platoons and squads. In creating this combat power, the battalion uti¬ 
lizes UASs that are not normally available to its subordinate companies. In this way, the bat¬ 
talion and its UASs are “combat multipliers.” This increase of combat power is repeated as we 
move up the pyramid to higher echelons each supported by the UASs that are organic to that 

Figure 3.1 

UAS Training Framework for Army, Marine Corps/Air Force Joint Combat Operations 


Army 


Full capability 


Air Force 


All 


Gray Eagle 


Gray Eagle 


Shadow and 
Raven, possibly 
Gray Eagle 


Shadow and 
Raven 


All: large 
systems usually 
simulated for 
leader training 


UAS integrated 
into training 


Operational 

experience 

Joint 

operational: 
CTCs, other exercise 

Operational: CTCs, 
larger-scale home 
station, MQT 

Tactical collective: 
home station, MQT 


Small unit: 
home station, MQT 


UAS integrated 
into training 


Individual training/orientation for operators and leaders: 
schools, home station, supplemental courses, MQT 


All 


Predator, 

Reaper 


Predator, 

Reaper 


Predator, 
Reaper 
if possible 

All: large 
systems usually 
simulated for 
leader training 


RAND RR440-3.1 

















Training Concept and Framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems 21 


tier. The two difFerent-sized arrows, coming in from the left for the Army and from the right 
for the Air Force, show the specific UASs and the echelons they support. 

In our concept of the training framework for UASs, the ground force systems—those of 
the Army and Marine Corps—and Air Force systems are “stacked” along the sides and paired 
with the level of the pyramid they support. The entries at each level of the pyramid identify 
the type of training that needs to be accomplished and where that training takes place. For 
example, small-unit training, at the lowest level of the squad and platoon, incorporates the 
Raven UAV and is accomplished at home station. Company training, which generally entails 
C2 of four platoons, is also accomplished at home station. The individual platoons may each 
be using their own Ravens, and the company commander may have access to the information 
from a Shadow UAS. 

This process is repeated at home station with companies being brought together under 
the C2 of the battalion commander and his staff. During a battalion exercise, the battalion 
commander will generally be able to task the Shadow UASs either individually or as part of 
the combat support from assigned Army aviation. In some cases, this may include informa¬ 
tion provided by the Gray Eagle UAS. In some instances—these have historically been very 
rare—available Air Force UASs, such as Reaper or Predator, may support home station bat¬ 
talion exercises. 

Brigade-level training can be carried out at some home stations, but the maneuver combat 
training centers (CTCs) generally provide a better venue. All available Army UASs will sup¬ 
port these training exercises, from the small Ravens to the larger and higher-flying Gray Eagle, 
when available. In addition, it is at this level and during these exercises that joint Army-Air 
Force support is usually integrated to include close air support (CAS) and support from Air 
Force UASs. 

Not shown on the pyramid is the training needed to meet the certification requirements 
of UAS operators. Such requirements will normally be met incidental to their training with 
ground forces. For example. Shadow operators need to operate their equipment 4.5 hours per 
month to maintain their certification. It is expected that they will be spending more than that 
supporting ground units during home station training. Operators not actively engaged with 
the training of ground units can achieve the needed proficiency training using the same train¬ 
ing equipment as during their initial skill training. 

The Training Framework for Fleet Operations 

A similar pyramid also represents our framework for Navy UAS training (Figure 3.2). It differs 
from the previous pyramid in that the Navy does not have a hierarchy of systems introduced 
at higher echelons of command. At the tactical level, the only UAS the Navy has is Fire Scout, 
which will be introduced into fleet operations following a similar path as discussed above. As 
with land forces and the systems that support them, combat proficiency is generated through 
the synergy of the platform, operators, and staffs that incorporate the UASs into the battle 
planning. Initial operator training is the base of the pyramid and takes place in the school- 
house in the vicinity of the homeport. Operational training occurs under way in fleet operating 
areas. The Navy trains continuously, and the training continues through the operational use of 
UASs when the units are deployed. 

UAS operators and maintainers require initial training to obtain the skills needed for 
operational effectiveness. As individuals become qualified as UAS operators and maintainers, 
they undergo team training to achieve mission area certification. For example, UAS operators 


22 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Figure 3.2 

UAS Training Framework for Navy Tactical LIAS 


Operational 
training and 
employment 


Location(s) 

Deployed operations 


Event(s) 

Fully mission-capable unit(s) 

Joint task force exercise 

Combined training unit exercise 

Final evaluation period 

Mission area certification(s) 

Individual qualification(s) 


Joint training 


Collective training 


Unit-level training 


Team training/certification 


Individual(s) training/qualification 


In-port and underway OPAREA 


In-port and underway OPAREA 


Homeport—in-port and 
underway OPAREA Training 


Homeport 


Homeport schools and 
supplemental TDY courses 


RAND RR440-3.2 


may be linked to and integrated with an antisurface warfare mission team to support certifica¬ 
tion for the surface warfare mission area. For ships, unit-level training occurs both in port and 
under way and culminates in a final evaluation period. During that evaluation, the immediate 
superior in command evaluates the ship in all mission areas to determine that it is ready for 
advanced phase training. The final evaluation period comprises in-port and underway training 
events geared to assess the unit s ability to operate independently. 

Collective training occurs after the final evaluation period, when the ship begins to 
operate with other units and staffs. During this time, the ship conducts operations with and 
becomes an integral part of a carrier strike group (CSG).^ Collective training is a combination 
of in-port and underway training events and culminates in a combined training unit exercise 
evaluated at the fleet commander level. The Navy is in the process of developing its UAS tactics 
and procedures and plans to integrate UAS training into predeployment preparations. 

Deployed naval ships and units must also operate in a joint environment. After complet¬ 
ing a combined training unit exercise, a deploying CSC conducts a final exercise with elements 
of other services (e.g.. Air Force aircraft) to demonstrate its ability to communicate and operate 
effectively in joint warfare. Joint training is conducted both in port and under way. An under¬ 
way joint task force exercise is the culminating event, with Navy units operating with forces 
of the other services; on satisfactory completion, units are deemed ready to deploy. Units then 
continue the operational training and employment of their systems en route to their deployed 
operational areas. 


^ While we address surface units as being part of a CSG, surface units can also deploy independently, with other ships, or 
with an expeditionary strike group. 



Training Concept and Framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems 23 


Navy units deployed to 5th Fleet do have experience with BAMS-Demonstrator (BAMS- 
D), the predecessor to the Triton, and a variant of the Air Force s Global Hawk. Despite being a 
demonstrator, BAMS-D was deployed to meet surveillance needs in the 5th Fleet. Navy strike 
groups operating in 5th Fleet were provided with imagery and data feeds from BAMS-D and 
used these data to build a common operational picture, which increased situational awareness. 
The BAMS-D was integrated into actual fleet operations and provided near-real-time updates 
for surface surveillance. Units learned to use BAMS-D “on the fly,” by processing, exploiting, 
and disseminating imagery and sensor data; building the surface picture; and increasing the 
positive identification of surface contacts in the area of operations. 

As UAS assets are fielded, they will be incorporated to a greater degree into predeploy¬ 
ment training and increase opportunities to train and hone the tasking, collection, processing, 
exploitation, and dissemination of UAS sensor data. 

Applying the Training Framework 

The training framework presented here focuses on the synergy among three key elements: 
the platform itself, those who operate the platform, and those who incorporate UASs into the 
battle. The framework emphasizes using UASs to enhance warfighting proficiency. It provides 
a useful tool for organizing and evaluating training options and assessing the current state of 
training and plans for improvement. As discussed in the next chapter, we used the framework 
to assess the state of UAS training, as it existed in 2012. 



CHAPTER FOUR 


Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012: Service and 
Interoperability Training and the Role for Simulators 


For more than a decade, UAS training has concentrated on preparing UAS pilots and payload 
operators to support ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This remained true in 2012 
and 2013, and the services continue to evolve how best to use these systems and integrate them 
into ongoing operations. With the operations in Afghanistan winding down, the services must 
now integrate all facets of UAS training, including the infrastructure for training addressed in 
Appendix C, into a largely CONUS-based inventory of UASs that continues to grow, even as 
real-time operations continue for some systems.^ Moreover, operational demands and techni¬ 
cal innovations will continue to evolve and affect training and organizational requirements. 
As a result, UAS training and training support programs must be viewed as works in progress. 

In assessing the current state of UAS training, using the UAS training framework dis¬ 
cussed in the previous chapter, we view proficiency in flying UASs not as an end in itself but 
as only a means to an operational end: accomplishment of a military mission. As noted, this is 
achieved through the synergistic use of UASs with the forces they support, in ways similar to 
those in which the timely integration of intelligence or the delivery of fire support is accom¬ 
plished in combat operations. This convergence requires full integration of UASs into the col¬ 
lective training of operational forces, attendant training and education for leaders and staffs, 
and the integration of lessons learned from previous and ongoing operations into education 
and training programs. 

The preceding should by no means be construed to understate the need for training those 
directly involved in the operation of UAS—among them pilots, crews, support personnel, and 
those who maintain the aircraft and communications systems. Such training, both to develop 
and to maintain proficiency in the operation of UAS, is critical for the overall success of a UAS 
training strategy. But proficiency in these areas is not in itself sufficient. Full understanding of 
UAS integration, from the smallest to the largest systems at every echelon, as outlined in the 
previous chapter, is also necessary. 

To be clear, members of the UAS community not only must understand how to operate 
their systems—a challenge largely being met successfully—but must also be familiar with the 
fundamentals of the operations they support and how their capabilities contribute to the suc¬ 
cessful accomplishment of the mission. Similarly, battle staffs must fully understand the many 
capabilities of UASs, how these capabilities supplement or complement other capabilities avail¬ 
able to the joint force, and how best to integrate the capabilities into their operations. 


^ The Air Force UAS community believes high demand for its systems—Predator and Reaper—will persist, with require¬ 
ments to support other kinds of demands increasing as demands for support of ground maneuver operations decrease. 


25 




26 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


This chapter assesses the state of training for UASs across the ground, air, and sea forces. 
It discusses information, observations, and insights gained from a wide variety of sources but 
mainly through visits to a select number of service bases in 2012. During these visits, the 
RAND team talked with operators and support personnel; those who train operators and asso¬ 
ciated members of the team; those who train and observe the forces who employ UASs; staff 
elements concerned with the planning and resourcing of training, both for UAS operators and 
for the force more generally; and those concerned with the ongoing development of doctrine 
and concepts of operations for UASs, including their integration into operations. What follows 
is a compilation of the observations and insights from these individuals and our interpretation 
of the implications for the specification and resourcing of training strategies. 


Ground Forces 

Ground force operations of the Army and Marine Corps, even at low echelons, can be highly 
complex, and the complexity increases significantly at higher echelons. Commanders at higher 
echelons not only have to coordinate and use the information and capabilities subordinate 
units provide but also have to manage and integrate information and capabilities from a wid¬ 
ening variety of other sources available to them. Adding the integration of UAS capabilities 
into the operational command further increases its complexity and thus the complexity of 
associated training management processes. Evidence from both training exercises and actual 
operations in combat theaters shows that, when properly managed, UASs provide significant 
new capabilities that commanders at every echelon can effectively employ. UASs truly have 
the potential to be force multipliers—but more so when employed by users fully competent 
in integrating their capabilities with those of the rest of the force and its supporting elements. 

As shown in the training framework presented in Chapter Three, the proper integration 
of UASs to create combat capability starts with the training of UAS operators and support per¬ 
sonnel and progresses through the integration of UAS operations with supported forces. 

Training for Operators and Support Personnel 

In general, the RAND team found that qualification training in the Army and Marine Corps 
for designated UAS-specific MOS is well established. In the Army, positions are filled by 
enlisted soldiers. The ranks of operators typically range from private first class to master ser¬ 
geant (E-3 to E-8). The Marine Corps is organized much like the Air Force, with a UA com¬ 
mander who is a company grade, qualified aviator or aviation C2 officer on his or her second 
or third tour (O-3/0-4) and a mission payload operator (MPO) who is typically a corporal 
through master sergeant (E-3 to E-8). 

Army Air Vehicle and Sensor Operators for Hunter, Gray Eagle, and Shadow UASs 

Training for Army UAS operators—pilots and payload operators—is carried out in two phases: 
The first, at Fort Huachuca, consists of a common core course for all operators of UASs not 
launched by hand.^ This phase lasts nine weeks and two days and has five sections. (See Fig¬ 
ures 4.1 and 4.2.) 


^ The 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, which was previously called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Bat¬ 
talion, conducts the training. See Appendix D for RAND’s “military value analysis of training bases” assessment of training 
at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. 



Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 27 


Figure 4.1 

Army UAS Air Vehicle Operator and APO Training Pipeline 



RAND RR440-4.1 


After completing Phase I, the operators continue to Phase II. This section is unique for 
each airframe and consists of both simulation and flight hours. It typically takes 12.5 weeks 
for Shadow and Hunter classes to finish and 25 weeks for Gray Eagle classes. After completing 
Phase II, the UAS operators earn their wings. 

Maintenance for Hunter, Gray Eagle, and Shadow UASs 

The Army UAS maintainers take the MOS 15E Repairer course from the 2nd Battalion, 13th 
Aviation Regiment (see Figure 4.3). As shown in Figure 4.4, the course lasts 17 weeks, and a 
new class of up to 16 students starts every two weeks. After completion, 15E personnel are 
qualified to maintain the Shadow. Maintainers must take additional training to earn addi¬ 
tional skill identifiers and thus qualify to maintain the Hunter and Gray Eagle. The additional 
training takes ten weeks for Hunter and 18 weeks for Gray Eagle. 

Army Raven Operators 

Without a dedicated MOS, the development and maintenance of Raven operators is a unit 
personnel and training management issue. Assignment as a Raven operator is an additional 
duty. In the past, this has meant that many units did not have the required Raven-qualified 
personnel to employ the systems properly. The Army is well aware of this problem and, short 
of creating a dedicated MOS, has recently initiated a program to deal with the Raven training 
problem. The Army Maneuver Genter of Excellence at Fort Benning manages a certification 
course designed to qualify selected soldiers as small UAS (SUAS) master trainers capable of 
conducting initial qualification training (IQT) and certification of new operators at home sta¬ 
tions throughout the Army. This train-the-trainer course focuses on how to teach and manage 
an aircrew training program at home base and how to assist small-unit commanders in evaluat- 


































28 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Figure 4.2 

Shadow (top) and Gray Eagle UAVs 



SOURCE: DoD. 



SOURCE: U.S. Army via social media outreach. 

RAND RR440-4.2 


ing academic and flight instruction and managing SUAS accident prevention.^ It is envisioned 
that new master trainers returning to their home stations will be able to develop and maintain 


^ The 15-day course includes classroom and hands-on training, with instruction on reporting procedures, fundamentals of 
instruction, semiannual evaluations, and familiarization with Raven A and B and digital downlink systems. At the conclu¬ 
sion of the training program, graduates should have the ability to evaluate and certify operators. See U.S. Army Maneuver 
Center of Excellence, undated. 













Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 29 


Figure 4.3 
Raven UAS 



SOURCE: U.S. Army via social media outreach. 

RAND RR440-4.3 


a sufficient number of operators within their units and manage a tracking program to ensure 
that their units have the required number of certified Raven operators. 

Marine Corps Unmanned Aircraft Commanders—Pilots 

Training begins with the Unmanned Aircraft Commander course, which last two weeks and 
is taught by the U.S. Army at Fort Huachuca. Career-level training takes place at the squadron 
level. Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, 
Arizona, provides advanced training (the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course). 

Air Vehicle Operators and Mission Payload Operators 

Training for air vehicle operators (AVOs) and MPOs is accomplished jointly with the U.S. 
Army at Fort Huachuca. USMC operators take the nine-week common course and the 12-week 
Shadow course. Career-level training takes place at the squadron level. Marine Aviation Weap¬ 
ons and Tactics Squadron 1 provides advanced training. 





30 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Figure 4.4 

Army LIAS Maintainer Pipeline 


MOS training 


15E UAS repairer course 

Intro to army 

Shop and flight 

Army aviation 

Basic 

Shadow 

aviation 

line practices 

forms and 

electronics 

emplacement/ 


and procedures 

records 

training 

displacement 

21 hours 

21 hours 

21 hours 

144 hours 

21 hours 

Maintenance 

Flight 

Fault 

Flight line 

Field training 


operations 

isolation 

operations 

exercise 

72 hours 

72 hours 

72 hours 

36 hours 

120 hours 


17 weeks 



ASI training 



RAND RR440-4.4 


Operational Training^ 

Larger UASs have dedicated MOS training, so operators and maintenance personnel arrive 
at home station having completed their IQT. To maintain their proficiency and certification, 
crews must log a minimum number of flying hours. The Army’s Gray Eagle UAS has its own 
simulator capability built into the operating hardware. Currently, the Army’s requirement is 
for 4.5 live flying hours per crew per month for the Shadow UAS. The Army has had dif¬ 
ficulty maintaining sufficient numbers of Raven-qualified SUAS operators, in part because 
units do not always do well in tracking their qualified operators, maintaining their proficiency 
through hands-on work, and providing for their timely replacement when they move on. Dis¬ 
cussions with Army trainers indicate that, despite the demands of deploying units and sustain¬ 
ing combat operations in Afghanistan, Army units are doing better at maintaining Shadow 
qualification. Nevertheless, not all units have been able to maintain high Shadow qualification 
rates: Some units arrive at the NTC with one-half or fewer of their operators qualified. 

For these systems, the critical issue for the future will be securing enough flying time 
for UAS crews to train with ground forces. Marine Corps experience offers a good illustra¬ 
tion of this issue. The Marine Corps has based Shadow squadrons at the MCAGCC, where 
there is adequate restricted airspace both to maintain crew proficiency and to fly in support of 
ground forces. However, both the ground trainers and squadron personnel the RAND team 
interviewed reported having to start what was essentially remedial training because the ground 


^ Joint Publication 1-02 defines operational training as “training that develops, maintains, or improves the operational 
readiness of individuals or units” (JP 1-02, 2013). 





























Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 31 


forces were not adequately trained at home station to integrate UAS capabilities into their 
operations. These students generally could not progress to the level of proficiency desired. 

The foregoing suggests the biggest challenge in developing and implementing a training 
strategy for UASs is gaining and maintaining proficiency on the part of end users—the lead¬ 
ers and staff members who will integrate UAS capabilities into their operations.^ Ground units 
that undertake joint training at CTCs are often unprepared to use organic and nonorganic 
UASs effectively, and thus tend to develop battle plans that underutilize them.^ Further, their 
intelligence and operations staffs sometimes find themselves at cross purposes over employ¬ 
ment of UASs, an issue that could be better dealt with during home-station training. 

Despite all this, discussions with operators, users, trainers, and training managers sug¬ 
gest that properly employed UASs consistently prove to be valuable combat multipliers. One 
example was an Army unit training at the NTC, which had successfully employed its UASs as 
part of a manned-unmanned team. In this instance, the UAS had acted as a scout and observer 
as manned attack helicopters delivered fires on selected targets, all in support of a ground 
maneuver unit. Another battalion well versed in the myriad tasks associated with employing 
Shadows—communication of commander s intent and concept, priority and time sensitivity 
of information requirements, targeting priorities, use of the communications relay package, to 
list just a few—was far more successful in employing the Shadows supporting it than another 
unit was. In the latter unit, the UAS platoon was simply given “areas to look at,” without spe¬ 
cific guidance on what to look for, e.g., named areas of interest and targeted areas of interest. 
Interviewees told the RAND team that many UAS operators do not get enough opportunity 
to interact with either crews of manned aircraft or the elements of ground units—commanders 
and operations and intelligence sections—that they will support. 

The latter problem, ground units’ lack of experience in employing UASs, is all too 
common. It is also true for the USMC, whose units face considerable limitations on using 
UASs at their home stations or local training events.^ Marine ground force units are thus typi¬ 
cally not well versed in employment of UASs when they arrive at Twentynine Palms. Although 
they learn while there, many are still not fully capable when they deploy.^ 

Improvements in Facilities and Basing for UASs Will Improve Training Integration 

To date, the Army has had reasonable opportunity to train at home station, and current pro¬ 
grams to increase UAS facilities will appreciably add to this. Table 4.1 summarizes responses 
the US. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) received from active. National 
Guard, and reserve bases in November 2012 concerning the availability of restricted airspace 
and resulting limitations on UAS operations stemming from lack of availability. The responses 


^ We refer to anyone who could benefit from the information a UAS provides as an end user. The MTTP calls end users 
supported units. 

^ Organic assets are ones owned by a unit, and nonorganic assets are ones that the commander of a unit does not own and 
thus does not have full control over. 

^ Recall that the Marines’ Shadow squadrons are based at Twentynine Palms when not deployed. 

^ This brings up the question of whether we should expect units to continue learning sound tactics and procedures while 
they are deployed. They should, of course. The issue is how much; officials we have consulted have given us the sense that 
many units are still on the steep part of the learning curve when they leave the MCGACC. These units would be more 
operationally effective sooner in their deployments if they could be better trained to integrate UAS capabilities before they 
deploy. 



32 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


indicate that, in many cases, relatively minor military construction projects are all that is nec¬ 
essary to expand training opportunities at home stations. In most locations, additional bed- 
down facilities will allow better use of existing restricted airspace to facilitate live training. 
In a few cases, however, the proximity of training areas to the Federal Aviation Administra¬ 
tion (FAA)-controlled National Airspace System (NAS) remains a problem. The summary in 
Table 4.1 provides a snapshot of the kinds of issues that have already been raised and will have 
to be revisited at some point because of the ongoing pressure to reduce defense budgets. 


Table 4.1 

Select Summary of Army UAS Installation Survey as of November 21, 2012 


Base/Commands 

Answer To Question E: Does 
Available Restricted Airspace 
Affect/Limit UAS Operations 
at Your Installation? 

Answer To Question J: 

What Solutions 

Would You Recommend 
for Unsolved Issues? 

Shadow Strips 
Planned for 

FY 2013 

Alaska (Forts 
Wainwright and 
Richardson) 

No. 

We have been able to 
accommodate all down range 
requests. However, the hangars 
are nonstandard and need to be 
evaluated for suitability as the 
Shadow and Gray Eagle platforms 
evolve. 


Fort A. P. Hill 

During landings the tactical 
approach landing system orbit is 
outside the restricted airspace. 


Yes 

Fort Bliss 

Our special use airspace is bisected 
by a major highway which requires 
a COA. 

Yes, a Shadow Strip in the SUA. 

Yes 

Fort Bragg 

Yes. 

Yes. Primarily commercial power 
and hardened maintenance 
facilities. Temporary solutions are 
power generation equipment and 
tentage. 

Yes 

Fort Carson 

Yes, limited by the volume of 
manned/unmanned platforms 
operating within the airspace. 

Yes, requests for designated 

UAS facilities and airstrip for 
launches and recovery. Funding 
established to build a multiple 
platoon facility for UAS units. 

Yes 

Fort Drum 

No. 

No. We have no unresolved UAS 
issues. 

Yes 

Fort Hood 

Not currently. 



Fort Knox 

No. 

Yes; the construction of a tactical 
UAS field support structure (build 
it). 


Hawaii 

Yes, we have requested to use the 
Kahuku and East Ranges for flights 
but due to FAA restrictions, we 
cannot fly UAS/SUAS platforms in 
these airspaces. 

No. We need more airspace to 
train in. Our current location is 
becoming less and less amicable 
to flight conditions due to public 
demands on land. 

In 2010, plans were drawn up 
to provide for a permanent 

UAS facility at Wheeler Airfield, 
but they were cancelled due to 
program funding. 





Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 33 


Table 4.1—Continued 


Base/Commands 

Answer To Question E: Does 
Available Restricted Airspace 
Affect/Limit UAS Operations 
at Your Installation? 

Answer To Question J: 

What Solutions 

Would You Recommend 
for Unsolved Issues? 

Shadow Strips 
Planned for 

FY 2013 

Fort Lewis (Joint 

Base Lewis-McChord 
[JBLM]) 

1. Yakima Training Center (YTC): 

No not an issue. 

2. JBLM: Yes, both the limited 
restricted airspace and the large 
number of installation units 
requiring restricted airspace, 
challenge UAS/SUAS operations. 

1. YTC: Shadow Training Facility 

2. JBLM: Construction of a second 
Shadow landing strip. 

3. JBLM: Construction of any type 
of permanent, securable facility 
alongside the existing Shadow 
landing strip (location is outside 
JBLM's guarded area). 

4. JBLM: Shadow Training Facility 
orTEMF. 


Fort Riley 

Not currently. (See response to Q 
h & i.) 

Nothing to comment on. 

Yes 

Fort Stewart 

Not significantly. However, 
reductions in air traffic control 
manning are a concern. There are 
currently no significant restricted 
airspace challenges negatively 
affecting UAS operations. 

Funding, we have a plan and the 
requisite site approvals, we just 
need funding support. We need 
the funding ($701,000) now for our 
third Shadow platoon hangar; we 
have the design ready to go and at 
contracting. 


USAREUR 

Yes. 173rd Shadow out of Italy is 
currently based in Bamberg due to 
no restricted airspace to fly in Italy. 
Currently fly in restricted airspace 
in Grafenwoehr/Vilseck Training 
Areas. 



Camp Atterbury 

No, both UAS facilities are within 
restricted airspace. 



Fort Chaffee 

No restricted airspace limitations 
to TUAS flight operations. 


Yes 

Orchard Range 

Yes, UAS operations are limited to 
using R-3203. 

Fixed support facilities UAS 
operations. Facilities will be in 

Range Complex Management Plan. 


Fort Pickett 

No, we have one of the largest 

SUAs in the Midatlantic. 



Camp Ripley 

No, the restricted airspace at Camp 
Ripley (R-4301) provides enough 
area to conduct training for the 
current systems. 

Yes. The current tactical strip will 
be removed for the construction of 
a MPTR. 

UAS commanders have requested 
a tactical strip for replacement 
that includes hard-stand buildings 
and electrical power. The Combat 
Readiness Training Center 
currently has a location selected 
that has power in close proximity 
to the existing tactical strip. 

Yes 



Camp Ripley is one of the sites to 
receive $730,000 for construction 
of a UAS strip in the down-range 
area in FY 2013. 


Camp Roberts 

No. 

Funding. 

Yes 




34 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Table 4.1—Continued 


Base/Commands 

Answer To Question E: Does 
Available Restricted Airspace 
Affect/Limit UAS Operations 
at Your Installation? 

Answer To Question J: 

What Solutions 

Would You Recommend 
for Unsolved Issues? 

Shadow Strips 
Planned for 

FY 2013 

Fort Dix 

Yes. 

We have accommodated all 
downrange requests. However, 
the size restriction of the UAS in 
R-5001 limits operation of large 
UAS operations. 


Fort Hunter-Liggett 

No, we use R-2513 airspace. 

None. 


Fort McCoy 

Yes, Current coutilization of 

Young Air Assault Ship, a 6,250-ft. 
C-17/C-130 landing strip in 

R-6901 B. The UAS operations at 
this landing strip affect Sparta/ 

Fort McCoy airport operations. 

Yes. Hangers for Shadows 
and permanent facilities with 
commercial power, and asphalt. 
Standard design and funding 
required. 


Fort Campbell 

Fort Campbell currently has two 
approved sites for Shadow Flight 
operation; both are located 
among numerous field artillery 
firing points, which requires de- 
confliction during launches and 
landings because the firing points 
have to check fire. As a result, 

UAS flight training is significantly 
reduced. However, an additional 
UAS strip is being constructed to 
alleviate this problem. 

Yes. Permanent facilities with 
commercial power and utilities. 



SOURCE: Installation UAS survey responses from TRADOC Capability Manager—Live, as of November 21, 2012. 


Key Areas of Concern 

As the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, the services must pay close attention not only to the 
training of UAS crews and support personnel but also to the routine exercise of these systems 
as part of combined arms training at home station and at the CTCs. This will require attention 
to a number of issues. 

Beddown and Related Support Facilities 

To facilitate the efforts described above, DoD should support current and future programs 
to develop ranges and beddown and support facilities similar to those in the Army’s current 
programs. The Army has been implementing a robust program to establish Shadow beddown 
facilities—runways, shelters, and attendant support structures—on many of its installations, 
both active and National Guard. This will enable more opportunities both for UAS operators 
and for end users. 

Airspace Considerations 

As the responses reported in Table 4.1 suggest, the unique limitations of UASs pertaining to 
operations in the NAS can make integration into home station training difficult. Currently, 
UASs can operate only in restricted military airspace or, in the NAS, with certificates of autho¬ 
rization (COAs) from the FAA. In some cases, it should be possible to increase UAS training 
with ground forces (and with collocated manned aircraft units) without impinging in any sig¬ 
nificant way on the NAS. Although this will certainly require better coordination of restricted 
airspace at individual installations, better availability of restricted airspace will make better 





Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 35 


access to the NAS less of a key element in supporting training strategies, at least as they pertain 
to home-station or local training of ground forces. However, less-cumbersome procedures for 
NAS access will, among other things, facilitate opportunities for units to employ larger UASs, 
such as Gray Eagle, Predator, and Reaper, in home-station training events.^ 


Air Force 

The Army and the Air Force have significantly different concepts for employment of UASs. The 
Air Force uses a remote split operations concept to employ its UASs. Under this approach, the 
Air Force flies UASs from home station using satellite or other relay links. It maintains only 
small deployed footprints at consolidated operating locations to launch, recover, and maintain 
the aircraft.^® This approach enables the deployment of the vast majority of its systems, yet the 
majority of the personnel who operate Air Force UASs do so from home station and require 
no reconstitution following deployments. By using remote split operations, 85 percent of the 
Air Force s UASs would be forward deployed for combat operations. The remaining 15 percent 
would support training at each operational base. The Air Force employment concept, however, 
does not facilitate integrated operations with Army tactical-level units during training at Army 
home stations. Once deployed. Army brigades, battalions, and SOF must learn to work with 
Air Force TACPs to coordinate UAS operations. 

Training for Pilots, Operators, and Support Personnel 

The Air Force uses a crew of one pilot and one sensor operator to man each UAS mission. The 
pilots are officers and are either rated pilots who graduated from undergraduate pilot training 
or UAS-only pilots who graduated from a new program called undergraduate remotely piloted 
aircraft training.^^ UAS-only pilots have the 18X Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) and will be 
discussed in more detail later. Following the structure of the training pipelines for other plat¬ 
forms, the training is broken into three phases: IQT, mission qualification training (MQT), 
and crew mission ready training. Air Education and Training Command conducts IQT and 
MQT, with the latter taking place in a formal training unit (FTU). 


^ In some cases, basing for the larger systems, especially Gray Eagle, will be contiguous with the training areas in which 
they are needed; Fort Hood, Texas, is an example. But this will not always be possible. The larger systems require longer 
and better runways and larger and more-sophisticated beddown and support facilities. It may be more cost-effective to move 
these UASs to support training where they are needed, rather than establishing beddown facilities in a large number of 
additional locations. 

The 432nd Wing at Creech AFB operates MQ-I Predators and MQ-9 Reapers from seven forward bases overseas. Main- 
tainers at forward bases serve four-month rotations in theater. 

Many more people are involved in RPA operations, including the mission intelligence commander. Also, there is a 
weapon school course for advanced training of RPA operations. For this research, we were primarily interested in the initial 
training of pilots and sensor operators. 

Some Air Force navigators who had commercial instrument qualifications have been allowed to train as pilots for the 
RQ-4. This avenue for sourcing RQ-4 pilots closed in spring 2011. 



36 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Pilots 

Reaper and Predator 

In response to the need to reach and sustain the manpower to fulfill Reaper and Predator 
requirements, the Air Force initiated a new program to produce RPA pilotsd^ Currently, 
Reaper training takes place at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, and Preda¬ 
tor training takes place at Holloman AFB. New RPA pilots have attained the foundational 
skills to conduct RPA missions and are qualified to operate in the NAS or International Civil¬ 
ian Aviation Organization airspace. Figure 4.5 outlines the training pipeline. Figure 4.6 shows 
the UASs. 

Global Hawk 

Currently, most Global Hawk pilots are traditional Air Force pilots who volunteered for a 
tour in the Global Hawk (see Figure 4.7), a majority of whom are qualified to fly multiengine 
transport aircraft. Prior to 2011, navigators who also had commercial pilot licenses and had 
completed commercial instrument qualifications were allowed to become Global Hawk pilots; 
however, the Air Force has not decided whether to retain navigators who are currently Global 
Hawk pilots in the community or return them to navigator duties. The third source of Global 
Hawk pilots is the 18X career field, UAS-only pilots who have graduated from undergradu¬ 
ate remotely piloted aircraft training. After finishing the three preparatory courses, candidate 
Global Hawk pilots head to the RQ-4 FTU, the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale AFB. 

Figure 4.5 

Air Force LIAS Pilot and Sensor Operator Pipeline 


SUPT graduates (FYs 2009-2011) 


RPA flight 
screening 

(Pueblo, CO) 

RPA instrument 
qualification course 

(Randolph) 

Pilot fundamental skills 
39 hours flight time 

Simulator only—49 hours 
instrument check ride 

7 weeks 2.5 months 

RPA pilots 


4 weeks 


RPA 

fundamentals 

course 

(Randolph) 


Tactical/theatre ops: 
weapons, threats, 
sensors, ATO/SPINS, 
comms, ISR basics 
110 hours academics^ 
4 labs/missions 


Traditional 

pilots 

i 



Aircrew 

fundamentals 

course 

(Lackland) 


Basic sensor operator 
course 

(Randolph) 



2 weeks 


RPA sensor operators 



SOs winged 


2-6 months 




MQ-1/9 

Formal training units 

(Creech/Holloman) 



2 weeks 


RAND RR440-4.5 


The Air Force uses the term RPA to refer to unmanned aircraft systems. The accepted joint terminology is UAS. 




























Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 37 


Figure 4.6 

Reaper (top) and Predator UASs 



SOURCE: DoD. 

RAND RR440-4.6 


Once at the FTU, pilots are trained first on simulators designed for pilots with an instructor 
pilot. Then, they participate in on-the-job training, flying live missions with an instructor pilot 
in the mission control element. 
















38 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Figure 4.7 
Global Hawk UAS 



SOURCE: DoD. 

RAND RR440-4.7 


Sensor Operators 
Reaper and Predator 

Enlisted sensor operators for Reaper and Predator are either trained into a new career field or 
cross-trained from another AFSC (lUOOX). After graduating from the Air Force s basic train¬ 
ing or being reclassified, they attend a two-week course at Fackland AFB, Texas, with other 
aircrew AFSCs. Then they go to Randolph AFB, Texas, for a six-week basic sensor operator 
course. After completion, they go to the appropriate FTU for the system they will be flying. 

Global Hawk 

Sensor operators for the Global Hawk are trained differently from those for other UASs. 
Sensor operators for the Global Hawk come from the intelligence imagery analyst career field 
(INlXXs). They receive MQT at Beale AFB, where they learn to use the Global Hawk system. 
After one tour as sensor operators (approximately three years), they move on to other imagery 
analyst assignments; therefore, it is difficult to maintain expert sensor operators for the Global 
Hawk. 

Maintenance 

Training for those who maintain Air Force UASs takes place at three locations.The fun¬ 
damentals are taught at the maintenance schoolhouse at Sheppard AFB, Texas. Initial skills 
training and advanced skills training take place at the unit. 


14 


Contractors provide certain UAS maintenance, for example, depot-level maintenance. 











Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 39 


Operational Training 

Given the emphasis on current operations and the Air Force s remote split operations concept 
for employing UASs, few opportunities exist to support ground troops either during home- 
station or CTC training. In general, with a few limited exceptions, Air Force UAS crews do not 
train in exercises or other training events in CONUS and do not support training in CONUS 
of Army or Marine Corps units at either their home stations or at the CTCs. Air Force UAS 
crews do conduct operational missions in theater, and these missions frequently are the chief or 
even the only way deployed Army and Marine Corps units get an opportunity to work directly 
with Air Force UAS crews. Thus, most elements of the UAS force in theater often have no 
experience working together before they have to do so in combat operations. 

The result of not working with ground troops either at home station or the CTC is 
that ground units generally do not integrate Air Force UAS capabilities into their planning. 
RAND’s conversations with the training community, including trainers at the NTC, as well 
as what officials told the GAO, confirmed that the 

effective integration of UAS in training exercises, like the integration of other types of joint 
air assets, depends on the priority that ground units place on developing training objectives 
that require the participation of joint air assets and their ability to plan for the use of these 
assets in the exercise. ... [As a result]. Army combat brigades often focus UAS training 
objectives during exercises on integrating their Shadow UAS and do not emphasize plan¬ 
ning for and employing Air Force UAS.^^ 


Independent RAND team visits also confirmed what the Air Force told the GAO, that 

unmanned aircraft are deployed to support overseas operations except for those that are supporting the initial training 
of UAS personnel or the testing of aircraft.” These officials [from the 432 Wing] stated that in the event that additional 
aircraft were made available, the wing’s personnel levels are insufficient to support additional training events because the 
unit does not have adequate personnel to support projected operational commitments and greater numbers of training 
exercises. Second, Army and Air Force officials told us that when Air Force UASs are at the training center, these aircraft 
are not always available to support ground unit training because a considerable portion of the UAS flight time is dedicated 
to accomplishing Air Force crewmember training tasks. Officials told us that the Army and Air Force have reached an 
informal agreement to allot about half of the time that an Air Force UAS is flying at the training center to support Army 
ground unit training objectives and the other half to accomplish Air Force training tasks. Air Force officials pointed out 
that although they try to align their crewmember training syllabi with ground unit training objectives at the National 
Training Center, training new personnel to operate these aircraft is their priority. Third, UASs may not be available during 
certain hours to support ground unit training, which during exercises goes on 24 hours a day. For example, Predator UASs 
from the California Air National Guard are available to support ground units only during daylight hours. To travel to the 
training center, these aircraft must pass through segments of national airspace that are not restricted for DOD’s use and 
therefore must rely on a ground-based observer or on chase aircraft to follow them to and from the training center. Because 
of this reliance on ground or airborne observers, flights to and from the training center must be accomplished during day¬ 
light hours and are necessarily more expensive as well. 

As a result of the limited number of unmanned Air Force assets that are available to support ground unit training at the 
National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center, Army ground units conducting training exercises have 
frequently relied on manned aircraft to replicate the capabilities of the Air Force’s Predator and Reaper UAS. Officials told 
us that the use of manned aircraft in this role permits ground units to practice the process to request and integrate the 
capabilities provided by Air Force UASs in joint operations. However, this practice is not optimal, as the manned aircraft 
do not replicate all of the capabilities of the Predator and Reaper aircraft, such as longer dwell times. 

GAO, 2010a, p. 26. 



40 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Key Areas of Concern 

We note above that, as the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, the services must pay close 
attention not only to the training of UAS crews and support personnel but also to routinely 
including these systems in combined arms training at home station and at the CTCs. This will 
require attention to a number of issues. 

Beddown and Related Support Facilities 

Discussions with officers of the 432d Wing suggest an Air Force future much like the past: 
flying in support of COCOM requirements worldwide. If this comes about, there will con¬ 
tinue to be limited opportunities for the Air Force to support Army or Marine Corps training 
at the home station or CTCs. Alternatively, if providing such training becomes a priority, the 
Air Force s current basing and beddown posture will become a problem. 

Airspace Considerations 

The unique limitations of UASs pertaining to operations in the NAS make integration into 
home-station training difficult. Currently, UASs can operate only in restricted military air¬ 
space or, in the NAS, with COAs from the FAA. These COAs can often be prohibitive to 
participating in joint training. For example, the MQ-1 FTU from March ARB tried to par¬ 
ticipate in training with the Marines at Twentynine Palms. Unfortunately, the COA requires 
a manned chase plane and, given the geography, the contracted chase plane cannot fly the 
shortest route. The only option is to fly through the restricted airspace between Fort Irwin 
and Twentynine Palms, which is prohibitively long because the COA permits operations only 
during daylight hours. These limitations restrict where UASs can be used because an installa¬ 
tion must have access to a significant amount of restricted airspace. Other limitations include 
the basing expense of sprinkling UASs across the country to embed with Army or Marine units 
at home station. 

Several different possibilities could be considered to help increase joint training opportu¬ 
nities. The Air Force could consider the location of Army hubs when choosing where to base its 
UAS fleet. A location that is near Army maneuver elements might make airspace access less of a 
restriction or at least make COAs more practical. Proximity might provide more opportunities 
for training UAS integration throughout the entire mission planning process. 

Alternatively, the Air Force could permanently leave a small number of UASs at a train¬ 
ing location and remotely operate these from Holloman AFB, Creech AFB, or other loca¬ 
tions. These systems are designed to employ remote split operations, in which the crew operat¬ 
ing the platform need not be colocated with the platform. The various Air Force units could 
get flying time by cycling through these dedicated aircraft. This option would provide Air 
Force crews—including launch and recovery crews—practice integrating with ground forces 
and would simultaneously support the ground forces’ need for integrated training. This plan 
would also reduce the issue of airspace access because the aircraft would be located within the 
restricted airspace in which they would be used or at an auxiliary airfield close enough that a 
COA would be practical. 

A promising development that enhances UAS training is the advancement of ground- 
based sense-and-avoid (GBSAA) and airborne sense-and-avoid (ABSAA) technologies. These 
may open up regions of civil airspace for properly equipped UASs to operate safely in accor¬ 
dance with the FAAs mandate to “do no harm” without requiring FAA issuance of COAs. 
In particular, GBSAA has recently completed a series of successful demonstrations, and the 


Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 41 


Army is planning to GBSAA equip a number of its UAS training bases to extend their current 
military airspace with adjoining civil airspace to increase UAS training capacity by 2015. The 
Army is the lead for the development of GBSAA, but GBSAA has been designed for the use of 
all the services. Each service, like the Army, would use one of its existing ground based radars 
in implementing GBSAA. ABSAAs implementation uses UAS-borne sensors and electronics, 
including those not currently on UASs. Gurrent development of all-weather ABSAA that could 
operate without FAA GOAs is restricted to Global Hawk, with plans to scale down to Reaper. 
ABSAA availability is not known at this time but will be some years after GBSAA becomes 
available. 


Navy 

Relative to the Air Force and Army, the Navy has had limited experience with UASs. To date. 
Navy ships have employed the Scan Eagle, a non-program of record UAS, fielded through a 
rapid-acquisition program (see Ghapter Two). Scan Eagles are flown from frigates. The Navy 
has also operated BAMS-D,^^ which is scheduled to be replaced by the MQ-4G, Triton.The 
Navy is acquiring the Fire Scout (MQ-8B). While we limited most of our study effort to the 
period through FY 2012, the Navy’s most recent experience is the best example of the evolu¬ 
tion of UASs and their implications for operational capabilities. In early May 2013, the Navy 
launched an X-47B experimental drone from the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George 
H.W. Bush as it operated off the coast of Virginia (Vergakis, 2013). This launch represented the 
latest step in introducing a disruptive technology into the operating forces and helped mark a 
paradigm shift in warfare because this particular UAS is capable of autonomous flight. 

The Navy’s approaches to integrating UASs and to training and developing UAS opera¬ 
tors differ significantly from those of the Army and Air Force. Generally, Navy UASs are being 
incorporated into existing fleet aviation units and organizations, and the personnel who will 
operate them are, to a large extent, the same personnel who will operate traditional aircraft 
assigned to these organizations. In this way, the Navy is addressing several problems often seen 
when disruptive technologies are introduced. The Navy approach has emphasized the comple¬ 
mentarity of the systems, rather than pitting the new technology and its proponents against 
the old technology and its proponents. In addition, the Navy will reduce cost by capitalizing 


While the Air Force has conducted Global Hawk UAS operations since 2001, the Navy has just recently pursued using 
the system. The Navy purchased Global Hawk airframes from the Air Force and is using them to test operational concepts 
and technologies. The aim for the Global Hawk maritime demonstration program, BAMS-D, is to better understand mari¬ 
time surveillance with UASs that fly at high altitude. The goal is to improve the fleet’s operational understanding of the 
battlespace, and the Navy deployed BAMS-D in 2009. 

The Navy’s BAMS UAS (MQ-4G), now called Triton, is a persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnais¬ 
sance system. As a persistent airborne asset, Triton’s sensors will support increased situational awareness for naval forces. 
The imagery and data provided by the airframe’s sensors will be directly available within federated networks, allowing Navy, 
joint, allied, and coalition exploitation centers to use MQ-4G UAS data. 

While the Navy is currently operating only BAMS-D (in FY 2012), it plans to purchase a total of 68 Triton MQ-4G 
UAS airframes from FY 2014 through FY 2026. This acquisition plan will increase deployment of BAMS to operational 
commanders throughout the world. The current concept of operations includes plans for the Navy to operate Triton UASs 
in flve separate geographic locations. These operations would provide continuous maritime surveillance, with persistent ISR 
support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, out to ranges of 2,000 nautical miles from the deployed location. (Derived from 
Department of the Navy, 2010.) 



42 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


on investments already made in personnel aviation training. For example, the Fire Scout UAS 
will be embedded in Navy H-60 squadrons.This enables taking advantage of H-60 pilots’ 
training and experience, because they will also pilot the Fire Scout. The flying skills of the 
H-60 pilot are utilized for both airframes and minimize the potentially disruptive effects of 
this new technology. Similarly, Triton, the follow-on to BAMS-D, is intended to complement 
Navy P-3/8 aircraft with its long loitering capability and sensors. The Navy plans to have P-3/8 
officers both be in tactical command of the UAS and pilot the Triton UAS. These officers will 
first serve and qualify in the P-3/8 aircraft, rotate to a UAS training unit, then assume duties 
in a UAS squadron. The Triton UAS capabilities complement the capabilities of the P-8 air¬ 
craft. The training construct the Navy is pursuing will capitalize, complement, and exploit the 
capabilities of both aircraft and the personnel assigned to them. 

Training for Operators and Support Personnel 
Scan Eagle 

Qualification training for personnel directly associated with UAS operations is not yet well 
established for the Navy. Currently, contractors operate the Scan Eagle UAS. (See Figure 4.8.) 

Fire Scout 

The Navy will have two approaches for Fire Scout operator training—one for littoral combat 
ship (LCS) employment and another for SOF support. The majority of Fire Scouts will be 
flown from the LCS. (See Figure 4.8.) 

Littoral Combat Ship Employment 

The aviation detachment that will deploy with the LCS will consist of one H-60R helicopter 
and two Fire Scouts and will have 23 assigned personnel. The training these personnel will 
need is similar to that for deploying with H-60 detachments on guided missile destroyers today 
(normally, two H-60 helicopters deploy with a guided missile destroyer). In the future, ships 
will deploy with a mix of H-60s, and Fire Scout and aviation detachment personnel will fly 
both aircraft depending on mission requirements. 

The skills needed to operate and maintain the Fire Scout are complementary to those 
needed for the H-60. The operators and maintainers of Fire Scout will be the same as for the 
H-60, with some additional training on the Fire Scout. An H-60 fleet replacement squadron’s 
(FRS’s) Fire Scout fleet introduction team will provide this training to the AVOs and MPOs en 
route. The AVO course for H-60 pilots lasts five weeks. This initial and all sustainment train¬ 
ing for the Fire Scout will be conducted via simulator. 

Fire Scout Support for Special Operations Forces 

The Navy is establishing dedicated units to support SOF, rather than integrating Fire Scout 
into existing units. The first of these units. Unmanned Helicopter Reconnaissance Squadron 
One, will be both a training and an operational squadron. The Navy’s plan is to organize each 
such squadron to have nine detachments, each consisting of three Fire Scout airframes, seven 
to eight AVOs, eight MPOs, and 16 maintenance and support personnel. The Fire Scouts that 
will be flown off LCSs will be piloted by commissioned officers. The Fire Scouts supporting 


The Fire Scout will greatly contribute to increased mission readiness and response by conducting persistent ISR opera¬ 
tions immediately around seaborne task forces, as well as over the horizon. The persistence, range, sensors, and data sharing 
of UASs extend the ISR reach of Navy ships and increase situational awareness. 



Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 43 


Figure 4.8 

Scan Eagle (top) and Fire Scout UASs 



SOURCE: DoD. 



SOURCE: DoD. 


RAND RR440-4.8 
















44 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


SOF units will be piloted by enlisted AVOs. Initially, these AVOs will be air warfare operators 
who have completed tours as MPOs with an LCS Fire Scout. 

Fire Scout Maintainers 

The Fire Scout maintainers consist of four Navy specialties. Enlisted aviation machinist mates 
and aviation structural mechanics will take the mechanical course for LCS Fire Scout. Enlisted 
aviation electronics technicians and aviation electrician s mates will take an electronic technical 
course for LCS Fire Scout. The maintenance and support skills needed for the Fire Scout are 
complementary skills for Navy enlisted technicians. 

Triton 

Operator Training 

The MQ-4C Triton UAS is composed of several systems: the airframe; a suite of mission pay- 
loads; communications systems; a mission control system (MCS) used for mission planning, 
control, and execution; and a support system. The Triton UAS will be deployed as an adjunct 
system to P-3/8 squadrons. The MCS will be based at a main operating base in CONUS, and 
BAMS maintenance and launch and recovery operations will take place at a forward location. 

The Triton watch organization will consist of a mission commander (P-8 naval flight 
officer),one AVO (officer, P-8 pilot), and two mission payload (enlisted) air warfare operators. 
Training plans for the Triton watch organization are being developed, and the initial operating 
capability of Triton will be in FY 2016. The Navy plans to use P-3/8 pilots as tactical coordina¬ 
tors and AVOs on the Triton. Future aviators will first go through flight school, earn wings on 
the P-3/8 aircraft, then perform an initial operational tour on the P-3/8.After that, aviators 
will rotate to the FRS for training on Triton before reporting to their squadrons. Designated 
FRS for BAMS is Patrol Squadron 30 (VP-30), located at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Flor¬ 
ida. FRS training provides initial and refresher qualification training for personnel who will be 
assigned to Triton units. 

Maintenance personnel and the pilot who launches and recovers the airframe are located 
at the forward operating base. The Navy plans to rotate personnel through the forward base 
every several months. 

A simulation training capability will be built into the MCS. Initial Navy manning plans 
indicate that there will be eight to ten crews per squadron. The crews will be flying real mis¬ 
sions that will sustain their proficiency. Triton UASs are flown via point and click; there is no 
stick and rudder. VP-30 is developing the tailored Naval Air Training and Operating Proce¬ 
dures Standardization requirements for the Triton; the final training and readiness manual for 
Triton is due in 2013. 

Maintenance Training 

The Triton airframe, engines, and associated equipment are different from the P-3/8; one is 
a UAS and the other a manned aircraft. Separate training will thus be necessary. When the 


The mission control officer is a naval flight officer who is responsible for the mission planning and the overall tactical 
employment of the airframe. The AVO is a naval aviator, responsible for flight planning and safety of flight, and is the pilot 
in command of the airframe. The MPOs are enlisted air warfare operators, responsible for the operation and employment 
of the sensors and the detection and analysis of targets. 

The notional pilot training track for P-3/8 pilots is (1) attend and graduate from flight school, (2) attend FRS for P-8 
training, and (3) conduct an operational P-8 squadron tour. 



Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 45 


Triton UAS is introduced into the fleet, the Chief of Naval Air Technical Training will stand 
up a technical school to train enlisted personnel to perform Triton maintenance. 

Operational Training 
BAMS/Triton 

The P-8As missions overlap with those of Triton. The missions the two have in common include 
maintaining the maritime common operational picture and the classification, identification, 
detection, and tracking of surface units. The P-8 A, however, has missions that the Triton does 
not perform (e.g., antisubmarine warfare) and vice versa. However, the increased utilization 
and cross training of P-8A and Triton crews over time can and is expected to increase under¬ 
standing and employment of these systems in support of the warfighter. 

While the Navy was operating only BAMS-D in FY 2012,the Navy has plans to pur¬ 
chase a total of 68 Triton MQ-4Cs UAS airframes from FY 2014 through FY 2026. This acqui¬ 
sition plan will increase deployment of Triton UAS to operational commanders throughout the 
world. The current concept of operations includes plans for the Navy to operate Triton UAS in 
five geographic locations. These operations would provide continuous maritime surveillance, 
with persistent ISR support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, out to ranges of 2,000 nauti¬ 
cal miles from the deployed location (Department of the Navy, 2010). The LCS does not have 
the Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE) synthetic training capability, and Fire 
Scouts assigned to the LCS will have no capability to train in the NCTE. Integrated training 
plans for Fire Scout are being developed. 

Integrated Training 

Triton s MCS will be configured so that it can participate in fleet training exercises syntheti¬ 
cally via NCTE. Fleet synthetic training events for BAMS-D and Triton are being developed. 

Key Areas of Concern 
Airspace Considerations 

Airspace planning is a critical requirement when conducting UAS operations but is less of a 
constraint for UASs in naval operations. The FAA controls the airspace up to the 12-mile limit 
from land. Navy surface ships with Scan Eagle and Fire Scout can embark the UASs, travel 
12 nautical miles out to sea to a naval operating area, then conduct UAS training. 

BAMS-D and Triton use special use airspace and fly at altitudes higher than commercial 
airlines do. They file instrument flight rules flight plans. However, BAMS-D and Triton do not 
incorporate sense-and-avoid technology, and conflicts can exist with visual flight rules aircraft 
in the airspace. Airspace issues exist at some Navy training installations as well. For example, 
along the North Carolina coast, the expeditionary readiness group must work with the FAA to 
route commercial aircraft around the established restricted operating zone units. 


BAMS-D has participated in CSG training events in the Virginia Capes operating area, including combined training 
unit exercises and joint task force exercises. Navy officials emphasized that Triton is a tactical asset and will respond to the 
requirements of the task force. 



46 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


The Need for Interoperability 

So far, this report has emphasized that home-station training is not as effective as it should 
be, thus reducing the effectiveness of multiservice, or interoperability, training at CTCs and 
during joint exercises. The importance of interoperability training is stressed in Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Guide 3501 (2012, pp. B-2 and B-3), which notes that the 

ability of systems, units, or forces to operate in synergy in the execution of assigned tasks 
is critical to successful operations. This ability to operate effectively together describes 
interoperability. From a joint training perspective, interoperability is a Service component 
responsibility. Interoperability training is based on joint doctrine, or where no joint doc¬ 
trine exists, on Service or [SOF] doctrine to prepare forces or staffs from more than one 
Service component to respond to operational and tactical requirements deemed necessary 
by CCDRs [combatant commanders] to execute their assigned missions. Interoperability 
training involves forces of two or more Service components (including SOF) with no inter¬ 
action with a CCDR or subordinate JFC [joint force commander] or joint staff. 

The publication in 2011 of the MTTP for UASs was designed to address the problem of 
interoperability. As designed, it is 

a single source, descriptive reference guide to ensure effective planning, integration, and 
utilization of multi-service UAS capability. It provides commanders, operational staffs, 
requestors, and UAS operators with a comprehensive resource for planning and employing 
unmanned aircraft.... US Air Force (USAF) uses the term [RPA] for the air vehicle com¬ 
ponent of a UAS. (MTTP, 2011, p. i) 

To date, interoperability training at the NTC and the Joint Readiness Training Center has 
been limited.GAO (2005, p. 2) cited two significant challenges for improving interoperabil¬ 
ity training: (1) “establishing effective partnerships with program stakeholders through com¬ 
prehensive communication and coordination and (2) developing joint training requirements 
that meet combatant commanders’ needs,” with particular emphasis on tactical level training 
(GAO, 2005, p. 2).^^ To meet this challenge, DoD established the Training Transformation 
Implementation Plan (Director, Readiness and Training Policy and Programs, 2006), giving 
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness overall responsibility 
and giving the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Readiness executive agent responsibil¬ 
ity for training transformation planning, programming, budgeting, and execution progress. 


GAO, 2005, p. 1, found that 

U.S. forces are conducting significantly more complex operations, requiring increased interoperability between and among 
the military services, combatant commands, and other DOD and non-DOD organizations. In the past, military services 
experienced some joint operations training during joint exercises, but most service training focused on individual service 
competencies with limited joint context. 

GAO, 2005, p. 18, noted that, 

in the past, joint training tasks were primarily focused at the command level and were identified through DOD authori¬ 
tative processes that built requirements by translating command combat commanders inputs into training requirements. 
Training transformation has expanded joint training requirements to include those at the tactical level in addition to joint 
command level training. 



Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 47 


While RAND did not assess interoperability training in detail, discussions with the 
Army’s training community, as noted above and as reported in GAO, 2010a, p. 26, suggest 
that such opportunities have been limited by the lack of Air Force assets, particularly the Pred¬ 
ator, due to pressing operational requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan. The problem of tran¬ 
siting Air Force UAVs from Creech AFB to the NTC at Fort Irwin through FAA controlled 
airspace is often cited. Permanently stationing Air Force UAVs at the NTC would, of course, 
negate that problem, much as the Marine Corps has done by basing UASs at the MCAGCC 
at Twentynine Palms, California, to support training there. However, the experience of the 
Marine Corps suggests that the mere presence of UASs will not ensure that the forces are 
properly trained. The forces must prepare at their home stations for such training. In addition, 
given the common MTTP, forces trained to operate with their own services’ UASs should find 
working with UASs from the other services less challenging. 


Simulators 

Congress has pressed for information on the role that simulators might play in a UAS training 
strategy, seeking an informed balance between live training and simulated training. In addi¬ 
tion, the GAO reported that the 

military services lacked simulators that were capable of supporting training that is intended 
to build proficiency in skills required of UAS vehicle and sensor operators and prepare these 
personnel to conduct UAS combat missions. ... [And] the Air Force and the Army have not 
fully developed comprehensive plans that address long-term UAS simulator requirements 
and associated funding needs. (GAO, 2010a, pp. 27-28) 

Implicit in the GAO’s comments is an assumption that simulators should play an important 
role in the future of UAS training. Our review questions that conclusion. 

DoD has historically viewed simulator training and joint use of training facilities as an 
exercise in cost reduction. It is first necessary to understand how simulation better enables 
the introduction of the technology and, similarly, how joint use of the disruptive technology 
enables more effective military operations. For the purposes of this report, we have clearly 
focused on these aspects of simulation and jointness, which must be understood before the 
more-traditional perspectives of resource allocation can be applied. Currently, the usual sig¬ 
nificant savings that the department has garnered from simulators in the past do not appear to 
obtain in this instance. The danger is that, if the department starts with a savings orientation, 
it will not fully capitalize on the capabilities UASs represent. 

For traditional aircraft systems, one major appeal of using simulators, rather than live 
flying, is the cost differential. For example, a RAND study of the trade-off between live and 
simulated training for manned aircraft noted that “the Marines and British are starting to give 
greater recognition to use of simulators as they seek either to reduce the high costs of live train¬ 
ing or conserve the limited life of operational aircraft” (Schank et ah, 2002, p. 49). In this case, 
the cost of flying the strike fighter aircraft they were discussing was many times greater than 
the cost of using a simulator, and the procurement cost of the aircraft itself was also signifi¬ 
cantly greater than that of the simulator. That said, they also noted that. 


48 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


[t]o increase that use, several improvements must happen to integrate simulators more fully 
into their unit training. The fidelity and availability of simulators must increase to the point 
that fighter pilots see their benefit in training. This requires additional funding for simula¬ 
tors. (Schank et ah, 2002, p. 49) 

The report further argues that, even given the cost advantage of simulators for strike fighter 
aircraft training, simulators are a complement to live training, not a substitute for it. 

The same point was made to us concerning UAS simulators. Officials of the 432d Wing 
also noted that simulators were not very good for training on landings. Moreover, a substantial 
investment in new simulator technology would be necessary to improve the realism of UAS 
simulators to the point it could prove useful for training UAS crews and ground forces. For 
example, GAO, 2010a, p. 28, found that currently Air Force and Army simulators did not have 
the ability 

to replicate all UAS procedures and to enable the integration of UAS training with other 
types of aircraft, [e.g.,] ... the Army’s Shadow Institutional Mission Simulator is not cur¬ 
rently capable of replicating system upgrades that are being fielded directly to ongoing 
combat operations, such as a laser target designator and communications relay equipment. 

... Air Force and Army simulators are also ... incapable of providing virtual, integrated 
training opportunities between manned and unmanned aircraft because of interoperability 
and information security concerns. 

The conditions that make a compelling case for simulators for the training of fighter 
pilots are largely absent when it comes to UAS training: 

• First, UAS flying hours are much less expensive than flying hours for manned aircraft. 
By one account, the flying hour cost of Shadow was $705; a comparable figure for Gray 
Eagle was $4,2757"^ By comparison, the Air Force told the GAO that “the live training 
cost of one F-15E flight hour is approximately $17,449” (Pickup, 2012, pp. 15-16). Other 
sources peg the flying hour costs of manned aircraft much higher. 

• Second, the kinds of operational activities that need more training emphasis, in particu¬ 
lar, air-ground coordination, are generally not activities in which simulators per se can 
substitute for live flying. A good example of both the limitations and the value of simula¬ 
tors can be found at the digital air-ground integration ranges the Army operates today. 
On these ranges, only the weapon system engagement is simulated. Everything else— 
planning, coordination, UAS operation, ground unit and/or manned aircraft activity, 
target acquisition—is live. 

• Third, while simulators are inherent in the systems used for initial training of pilots 
and sensor operators,they are not well suited (and not designed) for training operating 


Ron Moring, UAS cost per flying hours, personal communication, April 5, 2013. The cost for the Gray Eagle is similar 
to the costs the Air Force reported for Predator at $3,679 and Reaper at $4,762, as reported by Mark Thompson, “Costly 
Flight Hours,” Time, April 2, 2013. 

Recently, the Air Force comptroller’s office told Time that the flying hour cost for the F-15C was $41,921. Other aircraft 
had considerably higher flying hour costs; e.g., the cost of flying an F-22 for one hour was reported to be $68,362. See 
Thompson, 2013. 

See Shawn Johnson, DAMO-TRC Army Flying Hour Program, “UAS cost per flying hours,” personal communication, 
with Joan Vandervort, Office of the Office USDP&R, April 10, 2013. 



Assessment of the State of UAS Training in 2012 49 


forces on the full spectrum of UAS capabilities. Simulators may be useful as a supplement 
to live training of pilots and crews but do not replicate the myriad activities and stimuli 
that a live training environment provides well for maneuver forces. 

• Fourth, as noted previously, simulators at best complement rather than substitute for live 
training. Given the current state of UAS fielding, first priority must be given to building 
the live-flying infrastructure. Then, and only then, might funds be used to undertake 
the research and development that must precede any consideration of fielding the kind 
of interactive UAS air-ground simulators that could train both UAS crews and ground 
troops. 

In the future, the services should reevaluate the need for virtual training using a cost and 
effectiveness analysis (COEA) including developmental costs for simulators, the savings based 
on the costs of flying UASs, and the critical availability of air space for training. Given current 
budget limitations and the importance of fully developing the opportunities for live training 
and the relatively low cost of such training, diversion of funds to a research and development 
program to develop higher-fidelity UAS-ground simulators is not appropriate at this time. 


Summary 

This chapter presented an overview of UAS training in 2012. Our focus was on service-specific 
and interoperability training. The training framework presented in Chapter Three was our 
starting point, with an emphasis on preparing forces for joint training and deployment. We 
looked at ground, air, and sea forces. Insights came from a wide variety of sources but mainly 
through visits to selected service bases, where we talked with operators and support personnel, 
those who train operators and associated team members, and those who train and observe the 
forces who employ UASs. In general, the RAND team found that qualification training in all 
the services for designated UAS-specific MOSs is well established. The critical issue is being 
able to train with ground forces at home station. The experience of the Marine Corps illustrates 
the importance of such opportunities. The Marine Corps has Shadow squadrons based at the 
MCAGCC at Twentynine Palms, California, where the restricted airspace is adequate both 
for maintaining crew proficiency and for supporting ground forces. However, both the ground 
trainers and squadron personnel the RAND team interviewed reported that the ground forces 
are not adequately trained at home station to integrate UAS capabilities into their operations. 
This required starting with what amounted to “remedial” training at Twentynine Palms, and 
trainees thus did not achieve the level of proficiency desired. This suggests that the biggest 
challenge in developing and implementing a training strategy for UASs is gaining and main¬ 
taining proficiency on the part of end users or “supported units”—the leaders and staffs who 
will integrate UAS capabilities into their operations. 

Thus, as the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, the services must pay close attention not 
only to training UAS crews and support personnel but also to routinely exercising these systems 
during combined arms training at home station and at the CTCs. We addressed a number of 
issues for this, including beddown and support facilities and airspace considerations. 

We found that home station training is generally not as effective as it should be, thus 
reducing the potential effectiveness of multiservice or “interoperability” training at CTCs and 
during joint exercises. We noted that, to date, interoperability training at the CTCs has been 


50 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


limited by the lack of Air Force assets, particularly the Predator, due to pressing operational 
requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, given the common MTTP, forces trained to 
operate with their own service UASs should find working with UASs from the other services 
less challenging. 

Finally, we considered the case for UAS simulators. Currently, such simulators do not 
appear to offer the significant savings that the Department has usually garnered from simula¬ 
tion in the past. We concluded that, given current budget limitations and the importance of 
fully developing the opportunities for live training and the relatively low cost of such training, 
diversion of funds to a research and development program to develop higher fidelity UAS- 
ground simulators would be unwise at this time. 


CHAPTER FIVE 


Implications and Recommendations 


The Guiding Principle: "Train As We Fight" 

DoD has been under some pressure from Congress and such organizations as GAO for the 
lack of central control and the lack of the development of a joint DoD strategy for train¬ 
ing. For example, “DOD Lacks a Comprehensive, Results-Oriented Strategy to Resolve UAS 
Training Challenges,” was the summary title of a section of a recent GAO report (GAO, 
2010a, p. 29). The Joint Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence was established to 
support the joint operator and the services by facilitating the development and integration of 
common unmanned aircraft system operating standards, capabilities, concepts, technologies, 
doctrine, tactics, techniques, procedures, and training. The center, however, was disestablished 
in May 2011, and its UAS oversight function was reassigned to the Joint Staff Force Structure, 
Resources, and Assessment Directorate (J8), with some responsibilities assigned to the UAS 
Task Force. However, the 2011 publication of the MTTP for UASs addressed the problem of 
interoperability, and the services have agreed to incorporate the MTTP in their training. 
While the services have agreed to a common set of TTP, each service continues to develop its 
own UASs to meet its own requirements. Moreover, the GAO (2010a, p. 25) has well docu¬ 
mented that the opportunity for joint training is limited. While the GAO identified a number 
of organizations and initiatives addressing UAS training challenges, only one of the eight orga¬ 
nizations and initiatives it listed were led by the services. Given the current maturation of UAS 
platforms, this emphasis is misplaced; the military services employs their UASs in very differ¬ 
ent ways. Today, the services are still struggling with how to incorporate these new systems. 
The appropriate strategy for UAS training is to encourage each service to solve its own UAS 
training problems, then to coordinate the resulting TTPs by updating the MTTP to achieve a 
high level of interoperability. 

Gommanders and operators from the bottom up are discovering and adapting to the 
revolutionary operational changes that UASs have brought about. The most apparent changes 
are in the persistence and responsiveness of UASs relative to other platforms in the permissive 
threat environments in which they are currently operating. These characteristics help develop 
valuable shared situational awareness between UASs and the supported forces and also make 
ISR capabilities more responsive and immediately available. Processing, exploitation, and dis¬ 
semination concepts for UAS-generated information, however, are still evolving. In addition, 
armed UASs provide strike capabilities similar in some ways to those of GAS; the evolution of 
UASs from pure ISR platforms to small, lightly armed ISR platforms, to bigger, more heavily 
armed, faster, and even stealthier reconnaissance-strike platforms has crossed operational and 
cultural seams. This has lead to the need for continual resolution of disputes between intelli- 


51 



52 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


gence and operations staffs over priorities for UASs and their implications for mission planning 
and execution. 

To date, the services have, in a variety of important ways, been “training while they fight.” 
Iraq and Afghanistan have served as de facto training ranges, as well as an active theater of 
war. For example. Air Force Predator and Reaper pilots and sensor operators have frequently 
gone straight from flight instruction and certification to flying real-world missions, learning 
and adapting as they support operations. Army and Marine Corps units have also learned in 
theater how to capitalize on the robust set of capabilities UASs provide. 

The demonstrated ability of the services to learn on the fly should be cause for optimism 
about continued success in UAS training as operations wind down. But that continued success 
will depend on preserving training opportunities in an environment in which training is not 
an incidental by-product of operational requirements. Operational experiences, for example, 
typically do not suffer from the inherent limitations of CONUS training venues, such as lim¬ 
ited area, limited time, and limited fidelity. Because of such limitations, it has been harder to 
train as we fight in CONUS. Infrastructure and other limitations currently make it difficult 
or impossible to train at night or in bad weather, to train with live or dummy munitions, or 
to train in a communications environment that represents the environment and demands of 
actual operations in theater. Preservation of the current levels of proficiency, improvement 
where needed, and adaptation to changing circumstances will not come without effort; they 
will require overcoming or at least alleviating the limitations mentioned here. 


Elements of a Strategic Training Plan 

To train as we fight, the DoD training strategy must 

• engender better appreciation of UAS capabilities throughout the chain of command 

• address organizational, structural, and infrastructure and support issues 

• enable training as we fight in collective unit training 

• enable training as we fight in larger exercises. 

Engender Better Appreciation of UAS Capabilities 

Many ground force commanders and their battle staffs today do not fully recognize the poten¬ 
tial benefits UASs bring to the fight and, as a result, are not in a position to benefit from them 
in circumstances that would improve units’ warfighting capabilities. This is traceable in part 
to limited use of UASs in home-station and CTC training but also to other inherent limita¬ 
tions, such as a shortage of experienced personnel and UAS assets and airspace and infrastruc¬ 
ture limitations. Overcoming these limitations will enable more opportunities to foster better 
understanding and improve integration. Training guidance should emphasize the value of 
UASs, using examples of how units have benefited by preparing themselves to use such systems 
through training and attending familiarization courses. Such vignettes can be inserted into 
professional education and training materials to share positive experiences working with UASs. 


Implications and Recommendations 53 


Address Organizational, Structural, and Training Infrastructure and Support Issues 
Organization and Structure 

UASs are a disruptive technology, and their introduction can create tensions between opera¬ 
tions and intelligence staffs on the right balance between using UASs to collect intelligence 
or launch strikes. In the Army, for example, one could ask, is Gray Eagle an ISR asset or an 
armed reconnaissance system? Doctrine development efforts should produce a doctrine flexible 
enough to allow changes in allocation and organizational balances and address the attendant 
training issues accordingly. 

Also, in the Army, the organizational placement of UASs remains a challenge, as illus¬ 
trated by the fact that the assignment of responsibilities for the Raven is still being worked out. 
A more-systematic approach to monitoring and maintaining Raven operator qualifications will 
better enable integration of the system into maneuver forces and thus improve overall training 
and help develop better appreciation of the systems capabilities and limitations. In addition, 
the Army is currently examining alternatives for placing Shadow platoons in the headquarters 
company of a brigade combat team or consolidating them in the developing full-spectrum 
combat aviation brigade. Resolution of these organizational issues will likewise aid in training 
integration. 

Training Infrastructure, Training Support Issues, and Related Factors 

Some of the most important ways in which shortfalls can detract from UAS training are 

• incompatible or different communications capabilities 

• airspace restrictions 

• inability to train at night or in bad weather 

• inability to use live or dummy munitions 

• UAS unavailability 

• insufficient time. 

These shortfalls cannot always be fully corrected. Some, such as differences in commu¬ 
nications capabilities, are inherent but can be alleviated to some extent. The full correction of 
others may be unaffordable, but partial correction should still be possible. Inability to train at 
night or in bad weather, for example, is to some extent a result of FAA restrictions on when Air 
Force UASs can fly from their bases to the NTC. Basing Air Force UASs at the NTC would 
significantly reduce the effect of these restrictions and might also make it possible for the UASs 
to use live or dummy munitions, further improving realism for both customers and operators. 

Research suggests that airspace restrictions, while sometimes nettlesome, need not pose 
a serious obstacle to most UAS training at a unit s home station, either for operators or end 
users. Nevertheless, efforts to gain more access to airspace should continue with the research 
and development of the joint program for GBSAA systems, led by the Army’s program man¬ 
ager for UAS. This system uses ground-based radars to provide an extra layer of airspace safety, 
which could enable the FAA to make the use of civil airspace adjacent to UAS training airspace 
less restrictive and thus expand the airspace available for UAS training. A promising initial 
demonstration with Gray Eagle took place in summer 2011, but GBSAA is not expected to be 
certified for use until 2015. 

The insufficient number of UASs for training should be alleviated to some extent as some 
systems redeploy from overseas theaters and also by the recent decision to increase the number 


54 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


of Predator/Reaper CAPs from 61 available today to 85 in the future. Similarly, the Operation 
Enduring Freedom drawdown will likely free up more RPA trainers, alleviating the shortfall. 

Enable Training as We Fight in Unit Collective Training 

To facilitate home station training, the following steps need to be taken: 

• Training must make full use of units’ UASs and must use simulation or surrogates, despite 
their limitations, when live use is not possible. 

• Training should include the systems of other services and their associated joint tactical air 
controllers (JTACs) and air liaison officers (ALOs) to the extent possible. 

• Air Force preparation training of JTACs and AFOs should be available for support of 
unit-level training, as well as for larger exercises. 

• After-action reviews and reports should be expanded to reinforce lessons learned; they 
can also provide a sound basis for continued measurable improvements. Over time, the 
reports growing out of these documents should become more detailed and should incor¬ 
porate measures of performance and effectiveness, so that these metrics can drive future 
improvements. 

Enable Training as We Fight in Larger Exercises 

By design, larger exercises like those at maneuver CTCs provide considerable opportunities for 
more-realistic training. They are thus already better postured to provide training on the use 
and integration of UAS. However, more can be done to enhance the use of training opportu¬ 
nities in such large exercises to further the goal of better UAS integration in the force. Specifi¬ 
cally, we recommend 

• continued stress on training realism 

• including live UASs and their associated JTACs and AFOs as much as possible 

• including the CAS-like and ISR missions that UASs, especially Air Force UASs, will be 
performing in theater 

• providing a small paved air strip to base RPAs, launch and recovery elements (FREs), 
and support crews at the maneuver CTCs to avoid the NAS constraints associated with 
remote operation 

• continued efforts to integrate additional Creech AFB-based UASs into CTC training, 
when needed. 


Initiatives with Likely Near-Term Payoffs 

Other things can be done that should provide near-term payoffs: 

• Increase exposure to the capabilities and limitations of UAS —Continue to expose 
appropriate commanders to UAS operations through short (one- to two-day) familiariza¬ 
tion courses, such as those the Air Force offers at various UAS squadrons’ locations (e.g., 
Creech AFB, Beale AFB, and March ARB). These also need to be introduced as part of 
the joint training curriculum in a more formal and standardized fashion across the force. 
The proliferation of Air Force UAS squadrons geographically within CONUS should 
provide ready access for ground units whatever their home station. 


Implications and Recommendations 55 


• Harness the lessons-learned process to guide the development of service and joint 
doctrine and TTP —Formalize and standardize these processes as appropriate, and share 
best practices more extensively across services and regions. Right now, most extended 
learning is done “on the job,” with lessons learned shared informally among operators 
and trainers. Different UAS elements tend to focus support on different ground units, 
each with geographical and other mission differences. Best practices across these geo¬ 
graphic and mission boundaries need to be understood to inform joint doctrine and, 
hence, responsive training requirements. 

• Address well-known but underresourced training infrastructure shortfalls— 

Consider this issue in light of our previous discussions of basing. UASs can be based at 
maneuver CTCs to minimize the impact of FAA restrictions. If this is done as a part 
of the drawdown and redeployment of RPA units to CONUS, this should not be too 
disruptive or expensive; many details remain to be worked out, but military construc¬ 
tion and other costs appear to be manageable. Communications infrastructure and C2 
organizations and processes at the ranges can be enhanced to better mirror operational 
capabilities. 


Institutionalizing Training for UAS Capabilities over the Longer Term 

Institutionalizing UAS training over the longer term will naturally depend on continued sup¬ 
port for the specific programs and initiatives and others like them that we outlined earlier. 
Institutionalization will also require more-general efforts, falling into three broad categories: 
acculturation, professional development of the UAS force (operators, maintainers, and a UAS 
chain of command), and integration of the UAS community (a subprofession, if you will) into 
the aviation profession. These three are somewhat interwoven, and the third depends on the 
first two. Finally, institutionalization over the longer term will require adaptation: The strate¬ 
gies must be designed to be adaptive, and those who develop and implement them must be 
willing to adapt them. 

Acculturation 

The RAND team heard from many sources that many end users do not yet have a well- 
developed appreciation of the capabilities UASs can bring to an operation. In some cases, this 
lack of appreciation has derived from negative experiences. Some of these experiences resulted 
from inexperienced operators, some from mechanical failures, some from sheer bad luck (e.g., 
weather). The need to deconflict airspace and the need to do so, even when using restricted 
airspace reserved for military use, often led to utilization problems and contributed to negative 
impressions about the value of UAS. First impressions do count, and avoiding bad ones is much 
easier than overcoming them later. 

Professional Development 

All the services need to maintain professional development strategy for the UAS force. The ser¬ 
vices are developing a professional force of operators for UASs, both systems and payloads, con¬ 
sisting of enlisted soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and warrant and commissioned officers, 
although the Army currently has no UAS officer specialty. It is important to develop a cadre of 
UAS professionals with hands-on experience in all echelons of UAS operation; the Army may 


56 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


wish to consider a career pipeline for such officers, perhaps with an additional skill identifier. 
Such a professional cadre is a key element in full integration of UAS capabilities. 

Integration 

The services are making significant efforts to integrate UASs into their force structures. Army 
efforts would be aided by more access during training to the operational and even strategic 
capabilities of Air Force UASs. These efforts will be aided by better acculturation and an insti¬ 
tutionalized UAS career field that, over time, develops professionals with a more-complete 
understanding of UAS capabilities and limitations and sufficient rank, technical expertise, and 
operational experience to enable better integration of the capabilities into the overall operations 
of the end users. Related issues include integration of UAS capabilities with other ISR systems 
and with the intelligence warfighting function more generally, the tension between those who 
value the strike capabilities of UASs and those who value the intelligence collection capabili¬ 
ties, and the further tensions likely to emerge as UAS capabilities widen further. As UAS capa¬ 
bilities grow and broaden, integrating them into other warfighting functions will also present 
challenges. 

Adaptation 

The training strategy must adapt to future technical innovations and changes in operational 
demands. To enable this adaptability, those concerned with overall training strategy develop¬ 
ment will need to remain cognizant of and to guide the following, where possible: 

• evolution of the roles of UASs in the full range of military operations, and the speed and 
breadth of the expansion of those roles 

• surfacing and resolving UAS doctrinal issues (In particular, how will the requirements of 
intelligence and operations be integrated and deconflicted? How will both organic and 
nonorganic systems be better integrated to support ground forces, and which warfighting 
functions will they support? How will technological advances and changes in expected 
operational conditions influence decisions regarding these roles and missions?) 

• service adjustments of force structures and personnel management processes to accom¬ 
modate the disruptive technology effects of UASs 

• influence of the above and related issues on the development, promulgation, and adapta¬ 
tion of joint and service doctrines so these doctrines can continue to form a solid basis 
for UAS training. 


Summary of Findings and Recommendations 

Our findings and recommendations are summarized as follows: 

1. The proper strategy for DoD at this time is to encourage each service to solve its own 
UAS training problems, rather than to constrain any one service under the guise of joint 
operations. 

2. DoD should support current and future programs to develop ranges and beddown and 
support facilities similar to those in the Army’s current programs. 


Implications and Recommendations 57 


3. In spite of the demands of deploying units and sustaining combat operations in Afghan¬ 
istan, Army trainers indicate that Army units are better at maintaining qualification 
for Shadow qualification than for Raven. Nevertheless, not all units have been able to 
maintain high Shadow qualification rates—some units arrive at the NTC with one-half 
or fewer of their operators qualified. Better tracking of operators and their sustainment 
training is needed, particularly but not exclusively for Ravens. 

4. If joint training becomes a priority, the Air Force s current basing and beddown pos¬ 
ture will become more of a problem. The Air Force could consider the location of Army 
hubs when choosing where to base its UAS fleet. A location that is near Army maneuver 
elements might make airspace access less of a restriction or at least make COAs more 
practical. Proximity might provide more opportunities for training UAS integration 
throughout the entire mission planning process. 

5. Given current budget limitations and the importance of fully developing the opportu¬ 
nities for live training and the relatively low cost of such training, diversion of funds to 
a research and development program to develop higher fidelity simulators would seem 
unwise at this time. 


Path to the Future 

We have presented and discussed a multitude of means for setting up UAS training strategies 
for success. These means include support for ongoing facilities and basing initiatives; expan¬ 
sion of such facilities, where possible, to enable wider availability of UASs to support collec¬ 
tive training; and efforts to increase the use of UASs—the complete UAS package, including 
JTACs and other coordinating elements—in collective training, both local and in larger exer¬ 
cises. We have noted the need to support continuing efforts to resolve airspace access issues, 
observing as we did so that there are ways to keep such restrictions from imposing serious 
limitations on much of the UAS training envisioned here. Similarly, we have discussed the 
potential for simulators to add value in training, now and perhaps more in the future. But we 
have also cautioned that simulators, in their current state, are not a good substitute for live use 
of UASs in collective training. 

The path to the future for UAS strategies starts now, with support for ongoing initiatives 
that will continue the trends towards better training integration and thus better ability on the 
part of end users to employ the multiple capabilities of UASs in their operations. The path 
continues, using that foundation, with longer-term efforts to add to acculturation of end users, 
professionalization of the UAS community, and integration of the two to harmonize the capa¬ 
bilities of UASs as key elements of overall force effectiveness. 



APPENDIX A 


Current Major DoD UAS Programs in FY 2012 


The following pages come directly from a Congressional Research Service report on U.S. UASs 
(Gertler, 2012, pp. 31-46). 


59 



U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


Current Major DOD UAS Programs 

This section addresses the program status and funding of some of the most prominent UAS 
programs being pursued by DOD, and most likely to compete for congressional attention. This 
section does not attempt to provide a comprehensive survey of all UAS programs, nor to develop 
a classification system for different types of UAS (e.g., operational vs. developmental, single 
mission vs. multi mission, long range vs. short range). One exception is a short subsection below 
titled “Small UAVs.” The UAVs described in this section are distinguished from the proceeding 
UAVs by being man-portable and of short range and loiter time. These smaller UAVs are not 
currently, and are unlikely to be, weaponized. The services do not provide as detailed cost and 
budget documentation for these UAVs as they do for major UAS programs. Individually, these 


UAVs appear very popular with ground forces, yet do not necessarily demand as much 
congressional attention as larger UAS programs like Predator or Global Hawk. As a whole, 
however, these small, man-portable UAVs appear likely to increasingly compete with major UAS 
programs for congressional attention and funding. 

Table 6. Characteristics of Selected Tactical and Theater-Level Unmanned Aircraft 

System 

Length (ft) 

Wingspan 

(ft) 

Gross 

weight (lbs) 

Payload 

capacity 

(lbs) 

Endurance 

(hours) 

Maximum 
altitude (ft) 

Predator 

27 

55 

2,250 

450 

24+ 

25,000 

Grey Eagle 

28 

56 

3,200 

800 

40 

25,000 

Reaper 

36 

66 

10,500 

3,750 

24 

50,000 

Shadow 

1 1 

14 

375 

60 

6 

15,000 

Fire Scout 

23 

28 

3,150 

600 

6+ 

20,000 

Global Hawk 

48 

131 

32,250 

3,000 

28 

60,000 

BAMS 

48 

131 

32,250 

3,200 

34+ 

60,000 


Congressional Research Service 31 


60 








U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 



Source: Congressional Budget Office, Policy Options for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Publication 4083, Washington, 
DC, June 2011. 


Notes: All aircraft are drawn to the same scale. The silhouette figure is a 6-foot-tall soldier, also drawn to scale. 


Congressional Research Service 


32 


61 












































































U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


Table 7. Acquisition Cost of Medium-Sized and Large Unmanned Aircraft Systems 
Under the Department of Defense’s 2012 Plan 

(Millions of 201 I dollars) 



201 1 

2012 

2013 

2014 

2015 

2016 

2017 

2018 

2019 

2020 

Total, 
201 1- 
2020 






Air Force 






RQ-4 

Global 

Hawk 

1,200 

1,060 

890 

790 

810 

710 

1,160 

530 

80 

60 

7,290 

MQ-l 

Predator 

30 

10 

10 

10 

a 

a 

a 

a 

a 

a 

60 

MQ-9 

Reaper 

1,700 

1,550 

1,740 

1,440 

1,350 

1,150 

1,060b 

1,040b 

1,030b 

I,0l0b 

13,070 






Army 







MQ-IC 

Grey Eagle 

870 

1,060 

1,040 

740 

220 

90 

a 

a 

a 

a 

4,020 

RQ-7 

Shadow 

610 

250 

270 

200 

300 

280 

a 

a 

a 

a 

1,910 





Navy and Marine Corps 






RQ-4 

Broad Area 

Maritime 

Surveillance 

530 

560 

760 

880 

900 

1,010 

1,230 

1,260 

1,130 

1,130 

9,390 

MQ-8 Fire 
Scout 

60 

70 

60 

80 

80 

90 

130 

160 

150 

150 

1,030 

RQ-7 

Shadow 

90 

10 

10 

10 

a 

a 

a 

a 

a 

a 

120 






All services 







5,090 

4,570 

4,780 

4,150 

3,660 

3,330 

3,580 

2,990 

2,390 

2,350 

36,890 


Source: Congressional Budget Office based on data from the Department of Defense’s budget request for 
2012, Selected Acquisition Reports for December 2010, and Aircraft Procurement Plan: Fiscal Years 2012-2041 
(submitted with the 2012 budget, March 201 I). 

Notes: Acquisition cost includes the cost of procuring air vehicles, sensors, and grounds stations, plus the cost 
for research, development, test, and evaluation. The services’ cost data have been adjusted using CBO’s 
projection of inflation and rounded to the nearest $10 million. 

a. The Department of Defense has no plans to acquire or modify the specified system in these years. 

b. The cost is for the follow-on aircraft the Air Force plans to acquire instead of the Reaper. 

MQ-l Predator 

Through its high-profile use in Iraq and Afghanistan and its multi-mission capabilities, the MQ-l 
Predator has become the Department of Defense’s most recognizable UAS. Developed by 
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in San Diego, CA, the Predator has helped to define the 
modem role of UAS with its integrated surveillance payload and armament capabilities. 
Consequently, Predator has enjoyed accelerated development schedules as well as increased 


Congressional Research Service 33 


62 








U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


procurement funding. The wide employment of the MQ-1 has also facilitated the development of 
other closely related UAS (described below) designed for a variety of missions. 

System Characteristics. Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS. At 27 feet long, 7 
feet high and with a 48-foot wingspan, it has long, thin wings and a tail like an inverted “V.” The 
Predator typically operates at 10,000 to 15,000 feet to get the best imagery from its video 
cameras, although it has the ability to reach a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet. Each vehicle can 
remain on station, over 500 nautical miles away from its base, for 24 hours before returning 
home. The Air Force’s Predator fleet is operated by the 15^^ and 17^^ Reconnaissance Squadrons 
out of Creech Air Force Base, NV; the 11^^ Reeonnaissance Squadron provides training. A second 
control station has been established at Whiteman AFB, Further, “[t]here are plans to set up 

Predator operations at bases in Arizona, California, New York, North Dakota, and Texas.The 
Air Force has about 175 Predators;^^^ the CIA reportedly owns and operates several Predators as 
well. 

Mission and Payload. The Predator’s primary function is reconnaissance and target acquisition of 
potential ground targets. To accomplish this mission, the Predator is outfitted with a 450-lb 
surveillance payload, which includes two electro-optical (E-0) cameras and one infrared (IR) 
eamera for use at night. These cameras are housed in a ball-shaped turret that can be easily seen 
underneath the vehicle’s nose. The Predator is also equipped with a Multi-Spectral Targeting 
System (MTS) sensor ball which adds a laser designator to the E-O/IR payload that allows the 
Predator to traek moving targets. Additionally, the Predator’s payload ineludes a synthetic 
aperture radar (SAR), which enables the UAS to “see” through inclement weather. The Predator’s 
satellite eommunieations provide for beyond line-of-sight operations. In 2001, as a secondary 
function, the Predator was outfitted with the ability to earry two Hellfire missiles. Previously, the 
Predator identified a target and relayed the coordinates to a manned aircraft, which then engaged 
the target. The addition of this anti-tank ordnance enables the UAS to launch a precision attack on 
a time sensitive target with a minimized “sensor-to-shoot” time eyele. Consequently, the Air 
Force changed the Predator’s military designation from RQ-IB (reconnaissanee unmanned) to the 
MQ-1 (multi-mission unmanned).The air vehicle launches and lands like a regular aircraft, but 
is controlled by a pilot on the ground using a joystick. 

MQ-IC Grey Eagle 

A slightly larger, longer-enduranee version of the Predator, the Army’s MQ-IC Grey Eagle 
entered low-rate initial production on March 29, 2010.^^^ The Grey Eagle can remain aloft for 36 
hours, 12 hours longer than its Air Force sibling. 

An Army platoon operates four aircraft with electro-optical/infrared and/or laser 
rangefinder/designator payloads, communications relay equipment, and up to four Hellfire 


Phillip O'Connor, “Drones seeking terrorists guided from Missouri air base,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 10, 
2011. 

P.W. Singer, Wired for War (New York: The Penguin Press, 2009), p. 33. 

Congressional Budget Office, Policy Options for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Pub. No. 4083, June 2011, p. 5. 
Glenn W. Goodman, Jr., “UAVs Come of Age,” The ISR Journal, July 2002, p. 24. 

Department of Defense, Selected Acquisition Report (SAR), MQ-IC UAS Gray (sic) Eagle, DD-A&T(Q&A)823- 
420, Washington, DC, December 31, 2010. 


Congressional Research Service 34 


63 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


missiles. Each platoon includes two ground control stations, two ground data terminals, one 
satellite communication ground data terminal, one portable ground control station, one portable 
ground data terminal, an automated takeoff and landing system, two tactical automatic landing 
systems, and ground support equipment. In total, the program will be 124 aircraft, plus 21 
attrition aircraft and 7 schoolhouse aircraft, for a total of 152 aircraft. The average procurement 
unit cost of a Grey Eagle system is $114.1 million. 

MQ-9 Reaper 

The MQ-9 Reaper, formerly the “Predator B,” is General Atomics’ follow-on to the MQ-1. The 
Reaper is a medium- to high-altitude, long-endurance Predator optimized for surveillance, target 
acquisition, and armed engagement. While the Reaper borrows from the overall design of the 
Predator, the Reaper is 13 feet longer and carries a 16-foot-longer wingspan. It also features a 900 
hp turboprop engine, which is significantly more powerful than the Predator’s 115 hp engine. 
These upgrades allow the Reaper to reach a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet, a maximum speed 
of 225 knots, a maximum endurance of 32 hours, and a maximum range of 2,000 nautical 
miles. However, the feature that most differentiates Reaper from its predecessor is its ordnance 
capacity. While the Predator is outfitted to carry 2 100-pound Hellfire missiles, the Reaper now 
can carry as many as 16 Hellfires, equivalent to the Army’s Apache helicopter, or a mix of 500- 
pound weapons and Small Diameter Bombs. 

As of February 4, 2011, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems had delivered 65 of 399 planned 
Reapers, 43 of which are operationally active.^^^ 

The MQ-9 is operated by the 17^^ Reconnaissance Squadron and the 42""^ Attack 

Squadron, both at Creech Air Force Base, NV, and the 29^^ Attack Squadron at Holloman AFB, 

NM.“^ 

Program Status. Predator-family UAS are operated as part of a system, which consists of four air 
vehicles, a ground control station, and a primary satellite link. The unit cost in FY2009 for one 
Predator system was approximately $20 million,^while the average procurement unit cost for a 
Reaper system was $26.8 million.^^^ 


OSD, UAS Roadmap 2005-2030, August 2005, p. 10. 

Department of Defense, Selected Acquisition Report (SAR), MQ-9 UAS Reaper, DD-A&T(Q&A)823-424, 
Washington, DC, December 31, 2010. 

U.S. Air Force, Fact Sheet: MQ-9 Reaper, August 18, 2010. 

U.S. Air Force, Fact Sheet: MQ-1 Predator, July 20, 2010. 

Department of Defense, Selected Acquisition Report (SAR), MQ-9 UAS Reaper, DD-A&T(Q&A)823-424, 
Washington, DC, December 31, 2010. 


Congressional Research Service 35 


64 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 

Table 8. Predator and Reaper Combined Funding 

($ in Millions) 

Procurement RDT&E 

FYI I 


Request 

62 air vehicles 

1600.0 



Mods 

31.8 


Appropriations 

Conference 

12 air vehicles 

176.6 

83.2 


Mods 

31.8 


12 




Request 

9 air vehicles 

125.5 

61 


Mods 

30.2 



RQ-4 Global Hawk 

Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk has gained distinction as the largest and most 
expensive UAS currently in operation for the Department of Defense. Global Hawk incorporates 
a diverse surveillance payload with performance capabilities that rival or exceed most manned 
spy planes. However, Pentagon officials and Members of Congress have become increasingly 
concerned with the program’s burgeoning cost, which resulted in Nunn-McCurdy breaches in 
April 2005 and April 2011.^^^ Also, the RQ-4B Block 30 was deemed “not operationally suitable” 
due to “low air vehicle reliability” by the office of Operational Test and Evaluation in May 
2011 ."*’ 

System Characteristics. At 44 feet long and weighing 26,750 lbs. Global Hawk is about as large 
as a medium sized corporate jet. Global Hawk flies at nearly twice the altitude of commercial 
airliners and can stay aloft at 65,000 feet for as long as 35 hours. It can fly to a target area 5,400 
nautical miles away, loiter at 60,000 feet while monitoring an area the size of the state of Illinois 
for 24 hours, and then return. Global Hawk was originally designed to be an autonomous drone 
capable of taking off, flying, and landing on pre-programmed inputs to the UAV’s flight 
computer. Air Force operators have found, however, that the UAS requires frequent intervention 
by remote operators. The RQ-4B resembles the RQ-4 A, yet features a significantly larger 
airframe. In designing the B-model, Northrop Grumman increased the Global Hawk’s length from 
44 feet to 48 feet and its wingspan from 116 feet to 132 feet. The expanded size enables the RQ- 
4B to carry an extra 1000 pounds of surveillance payload. 


Amy Butler, "USAF Declares Second Major Global Hawk Cost Breach," Aerospace Daily, April 13, 2011. The 
2005 breach stemmed from costs in transitioning from the Block 10 Global Hawk to the larger Block 30; the 2011 
breach was attributed primarily to reduced procurement quantities rather than issues with the program. 

J. Michael Gilmore, RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 , OSD Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Operational 
Test and Evaluation Report, May 2011. John T. Bennett, “Pentagon testers slam aerial spy drone as unfit for 
operations,” The Hill, June 7, 2011. 

Jeff Morrison, “USAF No Longer Viewing Global Hawk As An Autonomous System, Official Says,” Aerospace 
Daily, December 3*^^^, 2005. 


Congressional Research Service 36 


65 









U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


Mission and Payload. The Global Hawk UAS has been called “the theater commander’s around- 
the-clock, low-hanging (surveillance) satellite.”^The UAS provides a long-dwell presence over 
the battlespace, giving military commanders a persistent source of high-quality imagery that has 
proven valuable in surveillance and interdiction operations. The RQ-4A’s current imagery 
payload consists of a 2,000-lb integrated suite of sensors much larger than those found on the 
Predator. These sensors include an all-weather SAR with Moving Target Indicator (MTI) 
capability, an E-0 digital camera and an IR sensor. As the result of a January 2002 Air Force 
requirements summit, Northrop Grumman expanded its payload to make it a multi-intelligence air 
vehicle. The subsequent incarnation, the RQ-4B, is outfitted with an open-system architecture 
that enables the vehicle to carry multiple payloads, such as signals intelligence (SIGINT) and 
electronic intelligence (FLINT) sensors. Furthermore, the classified Multi-Platform Radar 
Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) payload will be added in order to increase radar 
capabilities. These new sensor packages will enable operators to eavesdrop on radio 
transmissions or to identify enemy radar from extremely high altitudes. Future plans include 
adding hyper-spectral sensors for increased imagery precision and incorporating laser 
communications to expand information transfer capabilities.^The end goal is to field a UAS that 
will work with space-based sensors to create a “staring net” that will prevent enemies from 
establishing a tactical surprise.In August 2003, the Federal Aviation Administration granted the 
Global Hawk authorization to fly in U.S. civilian airspace, which further expanded the system’s 
mission potential.This distinction, in combination with the diverse surveillance capabilities, 
has led many officials outside the Pentagon to consider the Global Hawk an attractive candidate 
for anti-drug smuggling and Coast Guard operations. 

Program Status. Developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation of Palmdale, CA, Global Hawk 
entered low-rate initial production in February 2002. The Air Force has stated that it intends to 
acquire 51 Global Hawks, at an expected cost of $6.6 billion for development and procurement 
costs. As of November 2009, the Air Force possessed 7 RQ-4As and 3 RQ-4Bs.^^^ Another 32 
Global Hawks had been authorized and appropriated through FY2011 According to the most 
recent Selected Acquisition Report, the current average procurement unit cost for the Global 
Hawk has reached $140.9 million in current dollars. 

In April 2005, the Air Force reported to Congress that the program had overrun by 18% as a result 
of an “increasing aircraft capacity to accommodate requirements for a more sophisticated, 
integrated imagery and signals intelligence senor suite.A Government Accountability Office 
report in December 2004 noted that the program had increased by nearly $900 million since 2001 
and recommended delaying the purchase of future Global Hawks until an appropriate 


Glenn W. Goodman, Jr., “UAVs Come Of Age,” The ISR Journal, July 2002. 

David A. Fulghum, “Global Hawk Shows Off Updated Package of Sensors,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, 
September 08, 2003. 

'2%bid. 

Sue Baker, “FAA Authorizes Global Hawk Flights,” Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs, August 21, 2003. 
Ron Laurenzo, “Global Hawk Scouts Ahead for Other UAVs,” Defense Week, September 2, 2003. 

U.S. Air Force, Fact Sheet: RQ-4 Global Hawk, November 19, 2009. 

Department of Defense, Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Estimates, Aircraft Procurement, Air 
Force, February 2011. 

OSD, Selected Acquisition Report, December 31, 2010, p. 29. 

James R. Asker, “Global Hawk 18% Over Budget,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 25, 2005. 


Congressional Research Service 37 


66 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


development strategy eould be implemented/^^ The rising eosts of the UAV and aeeusations of 
Air Foree mismanagement have eaused eoneem among many in Congress and in the Pentagon as 
well as faeilitating an overall debate on the Air Foree’s development strategy/^^ 

Following a 2010 Defense Aequisition Board review of the Global Hawk program, 

Air Force acquisition executive David Van Buren told reporters that he is “not happy” with 
the pace of the program, both on the government and the contractor side. Chief Pentagon 
arms buyer Ashton Carter also criticized the program, saying that it was “on a path to being 
unaffordable.” 

In April 2011, a reduction in the number of Global Hawk Block 40 aircraft requested in the 
FY2012 budget from 22 to 11 caused overall Global Hawk unit prices to increase by 11%, again 
triggering Nunn-McCurdy.^^^ 

In its markup of the FY20II defense authorization bill, the House Armed Services Committee 
expressed concern “that differing, evolving service unique requirements, coupled with Global 
Hawk UAS vanishing vendor issues, are resulting in a divergence in each service’s basic goal of 
maximum system commonality and interoperability, particularly with regard to the 
communications systems.” The bill report directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics to certify and provide written notification to the congressional defense 
committees by March 31, 2011, that he has reviewed the communications requirements and 
acquisition strategies for both Global Hawk and BAMS. The subcommittee wants assurance that 
the requirements for each service’s communications systems have been validated and that the 
acquisition strategy for each system “achieves the greatest possible commonality and represents 
the most cost effective option” for each program. 

A May 20, 2011, report from the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center found the 
Global Hawk Block 20/30 to be “effective with significant limitations ... not suitable and partially 
mission capable.” The report cited “lackluster performance of the EISS imagery collector and 
ASIP sigint collectors at range” rather than issues with the Global Hawk airframe itself. 


United States Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-6 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles[:] Changes in Global 
Hawk’s Acquisition Strategy Are Needed to Reduce Program Risks, November 2004, p. 3-4. 

See H.Rept. 109-89. House Armed Service Committee “National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 
2006.” May 20, 2005, p. 91. 

Marina Malenic, “Air Force, Navy Pledge Greater Global Hawk-BAMS Cooperation,” Defense Daily, July 2, 2010. 

The Nunn-McCurdy provision requires DOD to notify Congress when cost growth on a major acquisition program 
reaches 15%. If the cost growth hits 25%, Nunn-McCurdy requires DOD to justify continuing the program based on 
three main criteria: its importance to U.S. national security; the lack of a viable alternative; and evidence that the 
problems that led to the cost growth are under control. For more information, see CRS Report R41293, The Nunn- 
McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress , by Moshe Schwartz. 

U.S. Congress, House Committee on Armed Services, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, 
Report to accompany H.R. 5136, 11 Cong., May 21, 2010, H.Rept. 111-491, p. 178. 

Amy Butler, “Poor Testing Results Latest Hurdle for Global Hawk,” Aviation Week/Ares blog, June 3, 2011. 


Congressional Research Service 38 


67 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 



Table 9. Global Hawk Funding 

($ in Millions) 



Quantity 

Procurement 

RDT&E 

Advance 

Procurement 

FYI 1 

Request 

4 

649.6 

251.3 

90.2 

Authorization 

N/A 

N/A 

N/A 

N/A 

Conference^ 

Appropriations 

4 

503.0 

220.3 

72.3 

Conference 

FYI 2 

Request 

3 

323.9 


71.5 


a. As passed, H.R. 6523, the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2011, did not 
include program-level detail, so no amounts were specified for these program elements. 


BAMS 

The Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance system is based on the Global Hawk Block 20 
airframe but with significantly different sensors from its Air Force kin. This, coupled with a 
smaller fleet size, results in a higher unit cost. “The air service’s drone costs $27.6 million per 
copy, compared to an expected $55 million per BAMS UAV, including its sensors and 
communications suite.... At 68 aircraft, the BAMS fleet will be the world’s largest purchase of 
long-endurance marinized UAVs.”^^^ 

System Characteristics and Mission. “BAMS ... provides persistent maritime intelligence, 
surveillance, and reconnaissance data collection and dissemination capability to the Maritime 
Patrol and Reconnaissance Force. The MQ-4C BAMS UAS is a multi-mission system to support 
strike, signals intelligence, and communications relay as an adjunct to the MM A/P-3 community 
to enhance manpower, training and maintenance efficiencies worldwide. 

“The RQ-4 ... features sensors designed to provide near worldwide coverage through a network of 
five orbits inside and outside continental United States, with sufficient air vehicles to remain 
airborne for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, out to ranges of 2000 nautical miles. Onboard sensors 
will provide detection, classification, tracking and identification of maritime targets and include 
maritime radar, electro-optical/infra-red and Electronic Support Measures systems. Additionally, 
the RQ-4 will have a communications relay capability designed to link dispersed forces in the 
theater of operations and serve as a node in the Navy’s FORCEnet strategy.”^^^ 


Gayle S. Putrich, “Northrop selected to build BAMS drone,” Navy Times, April 22, 2008. 

Northrop Grumman, “MQ-4C BAMS UAS,” press release, http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/bams/ 
index.html. 

Department of Defense, Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Estimates, Research, Development, Test & 
Evaluation, Navy, Budget Activity 7, February 2011. 


Congressional Research Service 39 


68 









U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


“The drones ... will collect information on enemies, do battle-damage assessments, conduct port 
surveillance and provide support to Navy forces at sea. Each aircraft is expected to serve for 20 
years. 

Program Status. The Administration’s FY2012 budget request documents place Milestone C for 
BAMS in the third quarter of FY2013, with initial operational capability in the first quarter of 
2016. “Since Milestone B for the Navy BAMS UAS program, identifying opportunities for the 
RQ-4-based BAMS and Global-Hawk programs has been a significant interest item for the UAS 
TF and has been well documented within the Department.”^^^ In one effort to integrate 
development, on June 12, 2010, the Navy and Air Force concluded a Memorandum of Agreement 
(MOA) regarding their Global Hawk and BAMS programs, which use a common airframe. 
“Shared basing, maintenance, command and control, training, logistics and data exploitation are 
areas that could be ripe for efficiencies, says Ft. Gen David Deptula, Air Force deputy chief of 
staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.... Also, a single pilot and maintenance 
training program is being established at Beale AFB, Calif., for both fleets.However, issues 
still exist over common control stations and whether one service’s pilots should be able to operate 
the other service’s aircraft. 

MQ-8B Fire Scout 

Now in deployment, the Fire Scout was initially designed as the Navy’s choice for an unmanned 
helicopter capable of reconnaissance, situational awareness, and precise targeting. Although the 
Navy canceled production of the Fire Scout in 2001, Northrop Grumman’s vertical take-off UAV 
was rejuvenated by the Army in 2003, when the Army designated the Fire Scout as the interim 
Class IV UAV for the future combat system. The Army’s interest spurred renewed Navy funding 
for the MQ-8, making the Fire Scout DOD’s first joint UAS helicopter. 

System Characteristics and Mission. Northrop Grumman based the design of the Fire Scout on a 
commercial helicopter. The RQ-8B model added a four-blade rotor to reduce the aircraft’s 
acoustic signature.With a basic 127-pound payload, the Fire Scout can stay aloft for up to 9.5 
hours; with the full-capacity sensor payload, endurance diminishes to roughly 6 hours. Fire Scout 
possesses autonomous flight capabilities. The surveillance payload consists of a laser designator 
and range finder, an IR camera and a multi-color EO camera, which when adjusted with specific 
filters could provide mine-detection capabilities.Fire Scout also currently possesses line-of- 
sight communication data links. Initial tests of an armed Fire Scout were conducted in 2005, and 
the Navy expects to add “either Raytheon’s Griffin or BAE’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon 
System” small missiles to currently deployed Fire Scouts soon.^"^^ Discussions of future missions 


Gayle S. Putrich, “Northrop selected to build BAMS drone,” Navy Times, April 22, 2008. 

Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), Department of Defense Report to Congress on 
Addressing Challenges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, September 2010. 

Amy Butler, “U.S. Navy/Air Force UAV Agreement Raises Questions,” Aerospace Daily, July 6, 2010. 

139 pjj-g Scout, Vertical Take Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV),” 

GlobalSecurity.org, http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/vtuav.htm, April 26* 2004. 

David A. Fulghum, “Army Adopts Northrop Grumman’s Helicopter UAV,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, 
October 20* 2003. 

Northrop Grumman Corp. Press Release, “Northrop Grumman’s Next-Generation Fire Scout UAV on Track,” June 
23* 2005. 

Joshua Stewart, “Navy plans to arm Fire Scout UAV with missiles,” Navy Times, August 18, 2011. 


Congressional Research Service 40 


69 






US. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


have also covered border patrol, search and rescue operations, medical resupply, and submarine 
spotting operations. 

Program Status. Six production MQ-8 air vehicles have been delivered to date.^"^^ The Pentagon’s 
2009 UAS Roadmap estimates a future inventory of 131 RQ-8Bs for the Navy to support the 
Littoral Combat Ship class of surface vessels.The Army had intended to use the Fire Scout as 
the interim brigade-level UAV for its Future Combat System program, but canceled its 
participation in January, 2010.^"^^ 

A Fire Scout attracted media attention in August 2010, when it flew through Washington, DC, 
airspace after losing its control link. “A half-hour later. Navy spokesmen said, operators re¬ 
established control and the drone landed safely.”^^^ 

FIRE-X/MQ-8C 

The FIRE-X project, recently designated MQ-8C but continuing the Fire Scout name, is a 
developmental effort to adapt the Fire Scout software and navigation systems to a full-size 
standard helicopter. The Navy “is to award Northrop Grumman a contract to supply 28 MQ-8C 
Fire Scout... to be fielded by the first quarter of 2014 to meet an urgent operational 
requirement.”^"^^ 

Fire Scout can fly for 8 hours with a maximum range of 618 nautical miles? Well, Fire-X 
will fly for 15, with a max range of 1227. Fire Scout tops out at 100 knots? Fire-X can speed 
by at 140. Fire-X will carry a load of 3200 lbs. to Fire Scout’s 1242. All this talk from a 
drone helicopter that just took its first flight in December.... Fire-X isn’t going to be a big 
departure from Fire Scout, though. The BRITE STAR II and other radars will remain on 
board, as will its software for relaying information to a ship.^"^^ 

RQ-170 Sentinel 

Although publicly acknowledged to exist, most information about the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 
Sentinel is classified. First photographed in the skies over Afghanistan, but also reportedly in 
operation from South Korea,^^^ the RQ-170 is a tailless “flying wing” stealthier than other current 


Department of the Navy, Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget Estimates, MQ-8 UA F, February 2011. 

Northrop Grumman Corp. Press Release, “Northrop Grumman’s Next-Generation Fire Seout UAV on Track,” June 
23^^^, 2005. FY2009-2034 Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, p. 66. 

The Army intended to field four different classes of UAVs as part of its Future Combat System (FCS): Class I for 
platoons, Class II for companies. Class III for battalions, and Class IV for brigades. See CRS Report RL32888, Army 
Future Combat System (FCS) “Spin-Outs” and Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV): Background and Issues for Congress, 
by Andrew Feickert and Nathan J. Lucas, for more information. 

April M. Havens, “U.S. Army wants to cancel Fire Scouts (sic) program,” The Mississippi Press, January 15, 2010, 
As presented on http://www.gulflive.com. 

Elisabeth Bumiller, “Navy Drone Violated Washington Airspace,” The New York Times, August 26, 2010. 

Graham Warwick, “U.S. Navy Goes Ahead With Bell 407-Based Fire Scout UAV,” Aerospace Daily, September 8, 
2011. 

Spencer Ackerman, “Navy Upgrades Its Spying, Dmg-Sniffing Robot Copter,” Wired.com/Danger Room blog, 
April 11,2011. 

Bill Sweetman, “Beast Sighted In Aviation Week/Ares blog, February 16, 2010. 


Congressional Research Service 41 


70 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


U.S. UAS. An RQ-170 was reported to have performed surveillanee and data relay related to the 
operation against Osama bin Laden’s eompound on May 1, 2011. The government of Iran elaimed 
on Deeember 2, 2011, to be in possession of an intaet RQ-170 following its ineursion into Iranian 
airspaee. 

System Characteristics. Built by Loekheed Martin, the RQ-170 has a wingspan of about 65 feet 
and is powered by a single jet engine. It appears to have two sensor bays (or satellite dish 
enelosures) on the upper wing surfaee. Although an inherently low-observable blended 
wing/fuselage design like the B-2, the RQ-170’s eonventional inlet, exhaust, and landing gear 
doors suggest a design not fully optimized for stealth. 

Potential Mission and Payload. “The RQ-170 will direetly support eombatant eommander needs 
for intelligenee, surveillanee and reeonnaissanee to loeate targets. 

Program Status. “The RQ-170 is a low observable unmanned aireraft system (UAS) being 
developed, tested and fielded by the Air Foree.”^^^ No further offieial status is available. 

Other Current UAS Programs 

RQ-5A Hunter/MQ-5B Hunter II 

Originally eo-developed by Israel Aireraft Industries and TRW (now owned by Northrop 
Grumman) for a joint U.S. Army/Navy/Marine Corps short-range UAS, the Hunter system found 
a home as one of the Army’s prineipal unmanned platforms. The serviee has deployed the RQ-5A 
for taetieal ISR in support of numerous ground operations around the world. At one time, the 
Army planned to aequire 52 Hunter integrated systems of eight air vehieles apieee, but the Hunter 
program experieneed some turbulenee. The Army eaneeled full-rate produetion of the RQ-5 A in 
1996, but eontinued to use the seven systems already produeed. It aequired 18 MQ-5B Hunter IIs 
through low-rate initial produetion in FY2004 and FY2005. The MQ-5B’s design ineludes longer 
enduranee and the eapability to be outfitted with anti-tank munitions. Both variants are eurrently 
operated by the 224^^ Military Intelligenee Battalion out of Fort Stewart, GA; by the 15^^ Military 
Intelligenee Battalion out of Ft. Hood, TX; and by Military Intelligenee Battalion out of 
Hohenfels, Germany. 

System Characteristics. The RQ-5 A ean fly at altitudes up to 15,000 feet, reaeh speeds of 106 
knots, and spend up to 12 hours in the air. Weighing 1,600 pounds, it has an operating radius of 
144 nautieal miles. The MQ-5B ineludes an elongated wingspan of 34.3 feet up from 29.2 feet of 
the RQ-5A and a more powerful engine, whieh allows the Hunter II to stay airborne for three 
extra hours and to reaeh altitudes of 18,000 feet.^^"^ The Hunter system eonsists of eight aireraft, 
ground eontrol systems and support deviees, and launeh/reeovery equipment. In FY2004, the 
final year of Hunter proeurement, a Hunter system eost $26.5 million. 


U.S. Air Force, Fact Sheet: RQ-170 Sentinel, December 2, 2010. and CRS analysis of available RQ-170 
photography. 

U.S. Air Force, Fact Sheet: RQ-170 Sentinel, December 2, 2010. 

'^Ubid. 

OSD, UAS Roadmap 2005-2030, August 2005, p. 7 


Congressional Research Service 42 


71 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


Mission and Payload. The Army has mostly used the Hunter system for short- and medium-range 
surveillance and reconnaissance. More recently, however, the Army expanded the Hunter’s 
missions, including weaponization for tactical reconnaissance/strike operations with the GBU- 
44/B Viper Strike precision guided munition, which can designate targets either from the 
munition’s laser, from another aerial platform, or from a ground system. This weapon makes the 
Hunter the Army’s first armed UAS. “Also, in 2004, the Department of Homeland Security, 
Customs and Border Protection Bureau, and Office of Air and Marine utilized Hunter under a trial 
program for border patrol duties. During this program, the Hunter flew 329 flight hours, resulting 
in 556 detections. 

Program Status. The Army halted Hunter production in 2005. As of May 2011, 45 Hunter UAVs 
were still in operation and periodically receiving upgrades and modifications. In August 2005, the 
Army awarded General Atomics’ Warrior UAS (which later became Grey Eagle) the contract for 
the Extended Range-Multi Purpose UAS program over the Hunter II. 

RQ-7 Shadow 

The RQ-7 Shadow found a home when the Army, after a two-decade search for a suitable system, 
selected AAI’s close range surveillance platform for its tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV) 
program. Originally, the Army, in conjunction with the Navy explored several different UAVs for 
the TUAV program, including the now-cancelled RQ-6 Outrider system. However, in 1997, after 
the Navy pursued other alternatives, the Army opted for the low-cost, simple design of the RQ-7 
Shadow 200. Having reached full production capacity and an IOC in 2002, the Shadow has 
become the primary airborne ISR tool of numerous Army units around the world and is expected 
to remain in service through the decade. 

The Administration’s FY2011 budget request did not include funding for Shadow aircraft, 
although it did include continued RDT&E funding for Shadow. 

System Characteristics. Built by AAI Corporation (now owned by Textron), the Shadow is 11 feet 
long with a wingspan of 13 feet. It has a range of 68 nautical miles, a distance picked to match 
typical Army brigade operations, and average flight duration of five hours. Although the Shadow 
can reach a maximum altitude of 14,000 feet, its optimum level is 8,000 feet. The Shadow is 
catapulted from a rail-launcher, and recovered with the aid of arresting gear. The UAS also 
possesses automatic takeoff and landing capabilities. The upgraded version, the RQ-7B Shadow, 
features a 16-inch greater wingspan and larger fuel capacity, allowing for an extra two hours of 
flight endurance. 

Mission and Payload. The Shadow provides real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and target 
acquisition information to the Army at the brigade level. A potential mission for the Shadow is the 
perilous job of medical resupply. The Army is considering expanding the UAS’s traditional 
missions to include a medical role, where several crucial items such as blood, vaccines, and fluid 


Kari Hawkins, “Pioneer platform soars to battlefield success,” www.army.mil. May 19, 2011. 

Jefferson Morris, “Army More Than Doubles Expected Order for ERMP with General Atomics Win,” Aerospace 
Daily & Defense Report, August 10* 2005. 

Todd Harrison, Analysis of the FY 2011 Defense Budget (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic & Budgetary 
Assessments, 2010), p. 38. 


Congressional Research Service 43 


72 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


infusion systems could be delivered to troops via parachute/^^ For surveillance purposes, the 
Shadow’s 60-pound payload consists of an E-O/IR sensor turret, which produces day or night 
video and can relay data to a ground station in real-time via a line-of-sight data link. As part of 
the Army’s Future Combat System plans, the Shadow will be outfitted with the Tactical Common 
Data Link currently in development to network the UAS with battalion commanders, ground 
units, and other air vehicles. The Marine Corps is considering how to arm Shadow. 

Program Status. The Army and Marine Corps currently maintain an inventory of 364 Shadow 
UAVs.^^^ The program cost for a Shadow UAV system—^which includes four vehicles, ground 
control equipment, launch and recovery devices, remote video terminals, and High Mobility 
Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles for transportation—^reached $11.1 million in current year dollars 
for FY2008.^^^ The Army procured 102 systems through 2009.^^^ In FY2012, the Army requested 
$25 million for 20 Shadow aircraft to replace combat losses, and approximately $200 million for 
payload upgrades. 

"Small UAVs" 

RQ-14 Dragon Eye 

AeroVironment’s Dragon Eye is a backpack-carried, battery-operated UAV employed by the 
Marines at the company level and below for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. 
Dragon Eye features a 3.8-foot rectangular wing, twin propellers, and two camera ports each 
capable of supporting day-light electro-optical cameras, low-light TV cameras, and infrared 
cameras. The compact and lightweight design of the UAV allows an operational endurance of 45 
minutes and can travel as far as 2.5 nautical miles from the operator. Low-rate-initial-production 
of 40 aircraft began in 2001. After a 2003 operational assessment, the Marine Corps awarded 
AeroVironment a contract to deliver approximately 300 systems of full-rate-production Dragon 
Eyes.^^"^ However, that contract was later revised to acquire Raven UAS instead. One Dragon Eye 
system consists of three air vehicles and one ground station. The final Marine Corps procurement 
budget request in FY2006 anticipated the current unit cost per Dragon Eye system as $154,000.^^^ 

FQM-151 Pointer 

Although procurement of this early UAS began in 1990, the electric-powered Pointer has seen 
service in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Pointer is a 


Erin Q. Winograd, “Army Eyes Shadow UAVs Potential For Medical Resupply Missions,” InsideDefense.com, 
December 20, 2002, p.l4. 

“Upgraded Shadow UAV Rolls Off Production Line,” Defense Today, August 5, 2004. 

Paul McCleary, “Marines Want a Big Bang From a Small Package,” Aviation Week/Ares blog, October 26, 2010. 
OSD, UAS Roadmap 2005-2030, August 2005, p. 8. 

Department of the Army, Army Procurement OPA 02: Communications and Electronics FY2009, February 2008, 
TUAS (B00301), Item No. 61, p. 18 of 23. 

Department of the Army, Committee Staff Procurement Backup Book, Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Estimate, Aircraft 
Procurement, Army, RQ-7 UAV MODS, Washington, DC, February 2011, p. 1 of 10. 

Peter La Franchi, “Directory: Unmanned Air Vehicles,” Flight International, June 2U^, 2005, p. 56. 

Department of the Navy, FY2006-FY2007 Budget Estimate - Marine Corps Procurement, February 2005, BLI No. 
474700, Item 44, p. 20 of 22. 


Congressional Research Service 44 


73 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


short-range reconnaissance and battlefield surveillance UAV developed by AeroVironment. Its 
flight endurance (two hours) is greater than most similar small UAVs, in part due to its relatively 
large, 9-foot wingspan. That wingspan decreases portability of the 8.5-pound Pointer, and as a 
result, transportation of a Pointer system (two air vehicles and a ground control unit) requires two 
personnel. Although superseded by the Raven (below). Pointer remains a valued short-range ISR 
asset for the Air Force and Special Operations Command. 

RQ-11 Raven 

Engineered from the basic design of the Pointer, the Raven is two-thirds the size and weight of its 
predecessor, with a much smaller control station, making the system man-portable. “The RQ- 
11A is essentially a down-sized FQM-151 Pointer, but thanks to improved technology can carry 
the same navigation system, control equipment, and payload.”^^^ The Raven provides Army and 
SOCOM personnel with “over-the-hill” reconnaissance, sniper spotting, and surveillance scouting 
of intended convoy routes. The electric motor initiates flight once hand-launched by a running 
start from the ground operator. The vehicle is powered by an electric battery that needs to be 
recharged after 90 minutes, but deployed soldiers are equipped with four auxiliary batteries that 
can be easily charged using the 28 volt DC outlet in a Humvee. The vehicle lands via a controlled 
crash in which the camera separates from the body, which is composed of Kevlar plating for extra 
protection. Like the Pointer, the Raven can carry either an IR or an E-0 camera and transmits 
real-time images to its ground operators. The relatively simple system allows soldiers to be 
trained in-theater in a matter of days. Raven systems can either be deployed in three-aircraft or 
two-aircraft configurations. “Raven was adopted as the US Army’s standardised short range UAV 
system in 2004 with a total of 2469 air vehicles (including older RQ-11A series models) in 
operational service by mid 2007.”^^^ “The US Army has an ongoing acquisition objective for 
about 2,200 Raven systems and has taken delivery of more than 1,300 to date.”^^^ A three-aircraft 
system costs approximately $167,000.^^^ 

ScanEagle 

Developed by the Insitu Group (owned by Boeing) as a “launch-and-forget” UAV, the ScanEagle 
autonomously flies to points of interest selected by a ground operator.^^^ The ScanEagle has 
gained notice for its long endurance capabilities and relative low cost. The gasoline-powered 
UAV features narrow 10 foot wings that allow the 40-pound vehicle to reach altitudes as high as 
19,000 feet, distances of more than 60 nautical miles, and a flight endurance of almost 20 hours. 
Using an inertially stabilized camera turret carrying both electro-optical and infrared sensors, 
ScanEagle currently provides Marine Corps units in Iraq with force-protection ISR and is also 
used by Special Operations Command. ScanEagle operations began in 2004,^^^ and continue 


Peter La Franchi, “Directory: Unmanned Air Vehicles,” Flight International, June 2U^, 2005, p. 57. 

Andreas Parsch, “AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven,” Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, September 12, 
2006. 

168 Directory - Aircraft Specification AeroVironment - RQ-1 lA Raven,” FlightGlobal.com, (2011). 

169 “UAV Directory - Aircraft Specification AeroVironment - RQ-1 IB Raven,” FlightGlobal.com, (2011). 

The FY2012 budget request includes $70.8 million for 424 systems and supporting equipment. Department of 
Defense, Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Estimates, Aircraft Procurement, Army, February 2011. 
Jim Garamone, “ScanEagle Proves Worth in Fallujah Fight,” American Forces Press Service, January 1T^, 2005. 
Insitu, “Backgrounder: ScanEagle® Unmanned Aircraft System,” press release, September 22, 2011, 
(continued...) 


Congressional Research Service 45 


74 






U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems 


today. Although ScanEagle was expected to cost about $100,000 per copy, the Navy and SOCOM 
have contracted for operations instead of procurement, with Boeing providing ISR services 
utilizing ScanEagle under a fee-for-service arrangement. 

ScanEagle is also in use by non-military organizations for surveillance purposes, including 
tracking whale migrations. 

Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS) 

In July 2010, the Department of the Navy awarded Insitu a two-year, $43.7 million contract for 
the design, development, integration, and test of the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System 
(STUAS) for use by the Navy and Marine Corps to provide persistent maritime and land-based 
tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) data collection and 
dissemination. “For the USMC, STUAS will provide the Marine Expeditionary Force and 
subordinate commands (divisions and regiments) a dedicated ISR system capable of delivering 
intelligence products directly to the tactical commander in real time. For the Navy, STUAS will 
provide persistent RSTA support for tactical maneuver decisions and unit-level force 
defense/force protection for Navy ships. Marine Corps land forces, and Navy Special Warfare 
Units.”^^^ 

Payloads include day/night video cameras, an infrared marker, and a laser range finder, among 
others. STUAS can be launched and recovered from an unimproved expeditionary/urban 
environment, as well as from the deck of Navy ships. 

STUAS uses Insitu’s Integrator airframe, which uses common launch, control, and recovery 
equipment with ScanEagle. STUAS has a takeoff weight of up to 125 pounds with a range of 50 
nautical miles. However, STUAS will be procured and operated by the services rather than 
operated on a fee-for-service basis because “the Scan Eagle’s current fee-for-service contract 
limits the way the UAS is deployed ... with Boeing/Insitu employees usually operating the aircraft 
in the field due to liability issues.” Procuring the system will allow the services to train their own 
operators. Initial operating capability is expected in the fourth quarter of FY2013.^^^ 


(...continued) 

http://www.boeing.com/bds/mediakit/2011/ausa/pdf/bkgd_scaneagle.pdf. 

See, inter alia, Boeing, “Boeing Awarded Navy Contract for ScanEagle Services,” press release, June 6, 2008, 
http://www.boeing.eom/news/releases/2008/q2/080606a_nr.html and Insitu, “Boeing Wins $250M Speeial Ops 
Contract for ScanEagle ISR Services,” press release. May 22, 2009, http://www.insitu.com/print.cfm?cid=3774. 

Boeing, “ From saving soldiers to saving whales,” undated press release, http://www.boeing.com.au/ 

V iewContent.do?id=61784&aContent=ScanEagle. 

Naval Air Systems Command, Aircraft and Weapons: Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, 
http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.display&key=4043B5FA-7056-4A3A-B038-C60B21641288. 
i^Ubid. 

Gayle Putrich, “Insitu wins long-awaited US Navy STUAS deal,” FlightGlobal.com, July 30, 2010. 


Congressional Research Service 46 


75 







APPENDIX B 


The Department of Defense's Traditional Acquisition System 


Overview 

The DAS is a structured and deliberate process for establishing requirements and planning and 
resourcing the procurement of new capabilities. The need for accountability and oversight in 
the allocation of national resources has led to the buildup over decades of a large bureaucratic 
apparatus around the DAS. The complexity of the process can be seen in Figure B.l. 

This bureaucracy has many virtues. It provides for a structured process governed by regu¬ 
lations and accountable authorities and includes provisions for relatively stable funding over 
system life cycles. Such provisions are far from perfect. For example, observers have long noted 
that the process can be slow and unresponsive to the immediate needs of warfighters. Such 
concerns have led, as will be discussed below, to evolving roles for the combatant commanders 
in resource allocation processes. Another concern is that provision of training and sustainment 
considerations, while formally required, is an afterthought to the acquisition and fielding of 
new equipment. Both concerns will be discussed below. 


Role of Combatant Commanders in Traditional Acquisition 

To meet current warfighter needs, the DoD has in recent years advanced changes to some 
existing acquisition processes and relationships. As a result, the roles of the COCOMs in the 
traditional system have evolved. For example, the Secretary of Defense approved a “stream¬ 
lined and refocused” integrated priority list process to better support the development of ser¬ 
vice program objective memorandums (Hicks et al., 2008, p. 59). In November 2005, the Vice 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff launched a process by which the Joint Requirements 
Oversight Council, in consultation with the COCOMs, identified a list of “most pressing” 
military issues to support resourcing and planning decisions (Hicks et al., 2008, p. 59). In 
2006 the Senior Warfighters Forum, consisting of COCOM deputies, began meeting every 
four to six weeks to discuss coordination issues, and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff began coordinating regular trips to the COCOMs with critical PPBE decision points to 
better represent the COCOM position in resourcing decisions (Hicks et al., 2008, p. 60). Fur¬ 
thermore, SOCOM s traditional acquisition activities have increased, and its budget has grown 
significantly (GAO, 2007b, p. 1). 

The COCOMS do not lead the process, but their ability to participate in acquisition, 
particularly in identifying requirements, has expanded. An emphasis on warfighting in recent 
years has given new weight to the capabilities and solutions that the COCOMs identify as 


77 



Figure B.1 

Defense Acquisition System 


Integrated Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Life Cycle Management System 





SOURCE: Defense Acquisition University, June 2010. 

RAND RR440-B.1 


78 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 





















































































































































































































































































The Department of Defense's Traditional Acquisition System 79 


required. Beyond the current fight, however, observers argue that the nature of future chal¬ 
lenges and the technology necessary to meet them are so dynamic that fundamental acquisi¬ 
tion relationships need to be rethought. As the commander of SOUTHCOM recently wrote: 

We are living in an age of rapid change facilitated by advancing technologies and increas¬ 
ingly networked systems, societies, and economies. In order for security agencies to be 
successful in this complex environment, those organizations must be flexible, open and 
forward-thinking. (Stavridis, 2010, p. xxii) 

Leadership of traditional acquisition processes is vested in the military departments (the 
force providers) rather than the combatant commanders (the force users). The DAS consists of 
the interrelationship between the establishment of requirements (Joint Capabilities Integration 
and Development), the process of providing solutions, and the allocation of resources (PPBE). 
All processes are primarily driven by the military departments, with some inputs from the 
COCOMs. The logic behind the vesting of acquisition authority in the military departments 
reflects both Title 10 responsibilities and unique competencies for acquisition. The division 
of labor has traditionally been that the COCOMs provide inputs to the determination of 
requirements, and the services lead on providing solutions. A recent RAND assessment con¬ 
cluded that it “is the job of those in Washington, D.C., to reach out to the COCOMs and 
demonstrate that their needs are being addressed, rather than turn the process over to them” 
(Blickstein and Nemfakos, 2009, p. 7). Traditionally, the COCOMs are viewed as best suited 
to fighting wars, while the military departments are best suited to balancing other priorities 
and managing resource decisionmaking. 



APPENDIX C 


Military Value Analysis of Unmanned Aircraft System Training 
Bases 


Training Locations 

The information on specific training locations included in this appendix is drawn from RAND 
interviews, service presentations to congressional oversight committees, and Army surveys and 
consolidated snapshots of selected Army bases compiled in November 2012. 

Initial training for UAS operators and sensor operators is concentrated at a few locations. 
The Air Force uses Beale AFB for training its Global Hawk crews and primarily Holloman 
AFB for its Predator crews.^ The Navy plans to leverage the similarities between the Global 
Hawk and BAMS by having some joint training at Beale AFB. The Army conducts all its ini¬ 
tial UAS training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The Marine Corps trains its Shadow crews with 
the Army.2 Current and continuing pressures on the defense budget are likely to result in fur¬ 
ther changes. We limited our efforts to analyze military value in depth to activities that any 
training base would more certainly include, regardless of budget reductions. After we gain a 
fuller understanding of the results of Secretary of Defense decisions on the content of the FY 
2014 and FY 2015 programs, we will renew our efforts to complete this military value analysis. 

The approach to the military value analysis of training bases presented here is based on the 
Department of the Navy’s 1995 Base Realignment and Closure documents. These categories 
and a brief description are listed below: 

• flight training areas and airspace—covers access to special use airspace, availability of 
training areas, etc. 

• airfield and maintenance facilities—includes facilities available for housing and main¬ 
taining the aircraft 

• expansion potential—any comments on future plans for expansion or capacity for expan¬ 
sion 

• training and training facilities—includes classrooms or other similar infrastructure and 
equipment required for training 

• military and general support mission—any impacts of the other military missions housed 
at the same installation 


^ The training for the LRE is separate from the FTU and takes place at Creech AFB, Nevada. 

^ The Marines will also operate the RQ-20A Puma. We do not discuss the training for that SUAS. 


81 




82 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


• weather—any impacts of weather on training capacity 

• location—description of the where the installation is located 

• base loading—comments on consolidation of training. 


Army RQ-7 and MQ-1C Training IQT Fort Huachuca, Arizona 

Fort Huachuca, Arizona, is home to the 2-13th Aviation Regiment (formally the Unmanned 
Aircraft Systems Training Battalion). The 2-13th trains operators and maintainers for the 
RQ-7 Shadow, the Warrior Alpha, and the MQ-IC Gray Eagle. The training pipeline for each 
of these was described in the body of this report. 

Flight Training Areas and Airspace 

See Figure C.l. R-2303 is a major operational area used for airspace manned and unmanned 
operations. Army and joint service training along with Department of Homeland Security 
border security operations. Fort Huachuca is the controlling authority and so can activate this 
restricted use airspace on demand, at any time. It covers 850 mi^ of land outside Fort Hua¬ 
chuca and encompasses 4,600 mi^ of airspace from the surface to 30,000 feet, much of it over 
private land. The FAA has issued several waivers to ensure the safe operations of manned and 
unmanned traffic. The area also has unencumbered radio frequency spectrum for the foresee¬ 
able future. 


Figure C.1 

Airspace Surrounding Fort Huachuca 



Legend 


1 1 FI Huachuca Training Areas 

m Noise Sensdrve Areas 

miB Intpoct Areas 

Miller Peak WMderness Area 

.J : CRtes/Toyvns 

Coronado NalKHiai Forest 


CriMM by Jobbua SM*nwMi 
. fTAM OIS ArwIyM 
I Rang* Controt. Ft Huachuca 


RAND RR440-C1 

















































Military Value Analysis of Unmanned Aircraft System Training Bases 83 


Airfield and Maintenance Facilities 

See Figure C.2. UAS operations split between the Libby Army Airfield and Black Tower. 
Shadow and Hunter training takes place at Black Tower. There are dedicated maintenance 
facilities as well as hangers and airstrips. Gray Eagle training takes place at Libby Army Airfield. 

Expansion Potential 

The IQT common core and the course for Shadow are currently running 24-hour operations. 
It would be difficult to expand the student capacity without committing more resources. The 
Gray Eagle course is just beginning, and the Hunter course is winding down. There is enough 
infrastructure for the planned capacity. Any expansion would require more resources. 

Training and Training Facilities 

Most LAS training operations take place at the Black Tower complex. Gray Eagle and Warrior 
Alpha vehicles are flown out of Libby Army Airfield. 

Military and General Support Mission 

Fort Huachuca is home to the military intelligence schoolhouse. This proximity could provide 
a unique opportunity for collective training between the two schoolhouses. Huachuca is also 
home to the Buffalo Soldier Electronic Testing Range. 

Weather 

Fort Huachuca has excellent weather for LAS operations. It has approximately 270 training 
days a year. 

Location 

See Figure C.3. Fort Huachuca is situated in southeastern Arizona, near the town of Sierra 
Vista. There are approximately 60,000 people at Fort Huachuca. 


Figure C.2 

Airfield and Maintenance Facilities at Fort Huachuca 

Libby Army Black Tower 




RAND RR440-C2 












84 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


Figure C.3 

Location of Fort Huachuca 



JZb 











1 



'f* • 1 




. - 

C<tar*ty 

1 - 



f ■ 





y CitonmAm 

1 ' \ _ 

1 


!. 

! • 

. 1 

1 J 1 - Hm**ana 








RAND RR440-C.3 


Base Loading 

Fort Huachuca is the hub for Army UAS training. This consolidation could be both good and 
bad. The lack of redundancy elsewhere limits the ability to expand operations when needed. 
For example, if one of the runways were damaged, the entire Army UAS training capability 
could be severely affected. 


Air Force Active Duty MQ-1/9 Formal Training Unit—Holloman AFB, New 
Mexico 

Flight Training Areas and Airspace 

See Figure C.4. Holloman AFB has access to the restricted airspace areas within the White 
Sands Missile Range (WSMR) and McGregor airspace. It is possible to reach both ranges with¬ 
out leaving restricted airspace. While competition for airspace is fierce, WSMR supports flying 
RPA operations out of Holloman AFB. The current plan is for MQ1/MQ9 to depart Hollo¬ 
man AFB northbound for WSMR airspace and to remain totally within R-5107 B/C/D/H. An 
alternative is to depart Holloman AFB southbound and climb to FL-180 in R-5107D. There is 
a three-way memorandum of understanding in place, but the testing mission at WSMR occa¬ 
sionally conflicts with RPA training. A few other areas near Holloman AFB have potential for 
RPA operations, although they require COAs from the FAA. 

The MQ-1/9 FTU completed the transition from Creech AFB to Holloman AFB. Plans 
call for an additional FTU, bringing a total of five MQ-1/9 training squadrons, including one 
maintenance squadron, to Holloman AFB. These squadrons will fall under the 49th Wing and 
bring in an additional 200 officers, 250 enlisted, and 150 contractors. Two hundred students 
are expected to cycle through in three-month training periods. Holloman AFB would have 28 
MQ-ls and 10 MQ-9s. To operate the aircraft, they would have 12 common ground stations, 
four Predator Primary Satellite Links, two LREs, and five mission control elements. They 
expect to fly approximately 2,800 sorties a year, 540 at night. 










Military Value Analysis of Unmanned Aircraft System Training Bases 85 


Figure C.4 

Restricted and Non-Joint Use Class D Airspace near Holloman AFB 




Altitudes 1 Hours of Use 

Minimum I Maximum I From I To 

Aimpaca 

Beak AMOA 

12.500 feet MSL 

UTBNI FL180 

0600 

Sunset 

Beak BMOA 

12,500 feet MSL 

UTBNI FL180 

0600 

Sunset 

Beak C MOA 

12.500 feet MSL 

UTBNI FL180 

0600 

Sunset 

Beak AB/C ATCAAs 

FL180 

UTBNI FL230 

As scheduled and coordinated 

Arkcho AB/C ATCAAs 

FL180 

UTBNI FL230 

As scheduled and coordinated 

CoMboy A/B/C 

ATCAAs 

FL230 

FL600 

As scheduled and coordinated 

Talon High East MOA 

12,500 feet MSL 

FL180 

Sunrise 

Sunset 

Tabn High West MOA 

12.500 feet MSL 

FL180 

Sunrise 

Sunset 

Talow Low MOA 

300 FEET AGL 

UTBNI 12,500 
feet MSL 

Sunrise 

Sunset 

Talon High East and 
West ATCAAs 

FL180 

FLGOO 

As scheduled and coordinated 

ValmontATCAA 

FL180 

FL600 

As scheduled and coordinated 

RMtricIMi Araa 

R-6103B (McGregor) 

Surface 

Unlimited 

0700t 

20001 

R-6103C (McGregor) 

SuHace 

Unlimited 

0700t 

20001 

R-S107A(Ft Bliss) 

Surges 

Unlimited 

Continuous 

R-6107B (WSMR) 

Surface 

Unlimited 

Continuous 

R-6107C (WSMR) 

9,000 feet MSL 

Unlimited 

Continuous Monday - Friday 

12 hours in advancaft 

R-6107D (WSMR) 

Surface 

FL220 

Continuous 

R-6107E (WSMR) 

Surface 

Unlimited 

By NoTAM 12 hours in advance 

R^107F(WSMR) 

FL240 

FL450 

Continuous M-F; 12 hours in 
advance pm weekends 

R-6107G (WSMR) 

FL240 

FL450 

Continuous M-F; 12 hours in 
advance pm weekends 

R-6107H (WSMR) 

Surface 

UTBNI 9.000 
fwtMSL 

By NoTAM 12 hours in advance 

R-6107J (WSMR) 

Surface 

UTBNI 9,000 
feet MSL 

Continuous Mon-Fri 

12 hours in advance tt 

R-6109A 

24,000 feet MSL 

Unlimited 

Intermittent by NoTAM 

R-6109B 

24,000 feet MSL 

Unlirrated 

Intermittent by NoTAM 

R-6111A (WSMR) 

13.000 feel MSL 

Unlimited 

By NoTAM 12 hours in advance 

R^IIIB (WSMR) 

Surface 

UTBN113,000 
feet MSL 

By NoTAM 12 hours in advance 

R-61 lie (WSMR) 

13.000 feel MSL 

Unlinvted 

Bv NoTAM 12 hours in advance 

R-6111D(WSMR) 

Surtece 

13,000 feet MSL 

By NoTAM 12 hours in advance 


Notes; t “ other times by NOTAM. ft - other times by NOTAM, 12 hours in acivanoe 

UTBNI = Up to, but not including; AGL = aboveground level; FL « Flight level. FL 180 is approximately 

18,000 

Feet MSU MSL* mean sea iavel; NOTAM = Notice to Ainnen 
Source; U.S. Ar Force 2006 


RAND RR440-C.4 


Airfield and Maintenance Facilities 

These are included with the training facilities. 


Expansion Potential 

The second MQ-9 FTU is scheduled to open in FY 2013, making Holloman home to three 
MQ-l/MQ-9 FTUs. There is currently a year lag in infrastructure to be able to support a third 
FTU. The new facilities were supposed to have been finished prior to the standup of the new 
FTU; however, construction is running approximately a year behind schedule. It is difficult to 
comment on the ability to meet the required capacity as the capacity requirement is in flux. 


Training and Training Facilities 

See Figure C.5. Holloman AFB has 200,000 ft^ of existing and open facilities, including office 
space and hangars that could accommodate the FTUs with minor renovations. The map in 
Figure C.5 shows where new facilities would be located and identifies existing facilities. 

Table C.l shows the space required to start up the unit, as well as the required final bed- 
down space, as defined by military construction. Table C.2 shows the facility plan for each 
functional requirement. 





















































































Figure C.5 

MQ-1/MQ-9 Beddown Plan 



Military and General Support Mission 

Other aircraft flown at Holloman currently include the T-38, MQ-1, MQ-9, the QF-4, and 
the German Tornado.^ There are plans to move at least a portion of the F-16 FTUs from Luke 
AFB, Arizona, to Holloman AFB. This could affect the availability of airspace access. 


Location 

Holloman AFB is located in southern New Mexico, near the town of Alamogordo. The base 
encompasses about 59,600 acres and has a population of about 21,000 military, civilian, and 
families. 


Base Loading 

Moving the FTUs from Creech AFB to Holloman AFB freed up some capacity at the former 
and allowed the latter to focus purely on training.^ There is some redundancy with the Air 
National Guard FTU at March ARB; however, that FTU is much smaller and primarily trains 


^ A German training unit is stationed at Holloman AFB. The F-22s will be transitioning from the base. Air Combat Com¬ 
mand and the Air Staff are deciding what to put in place of the F-22 squadron. 

The LRE training is a separate course from the FTU and still taught at Creech. 


86 























Table C.1 
Beddown Plans 


Function/Activity 

Space Required for 

Initial Startup Final Beddown 

Parking apron (000 ft^) 

30 

60 

Squadron operations facility (000 ft^) 

16 

48 

FTU schoolhouse 

20 

50 

(classrooms and simulators) (000 ft^) 

11 

11 

MCE facility (000 ft^) 

12 

24 

Aircraft maintenance unit (000 ft^) 

30 

70 

Munitions PGM shop (000 ft^) 

2 

Unknown 

Munitions storage (000 ft^) 

3 

Unknown 

Aircraft parts store (000 ft^) 

10 

10 

Weapon load trainer (bays) 

1 bay 

1 bay^ 

Casket storage (000 ft^) 

8 

16 

Bulk fuel storage (gal) 

32 

32 

Lodging (rooms) 

60 

200 

All backshops (000 ft^) 

24 

24 


^ Use maintenance bay. 


Air National Guard operators. March ARB currently has adequate infrastructure and capacity 
for its training mission. 


Air Force RQ-4 Formal Training Unit—Beale AFB, California 

Flight Training Areas and Airspace 

Because of the altitude at which RQ-4s conduct their primary mission, airspace access is man¬ 
ageable at Beale AFB. A cylinder is used to access Class A airspace. The FAA provides a stand¬ 
ing window for flights into this cylinder of 10 hours a day, every weekday. Requests outside this 
window are handled individually and have not been a limitation. 

Airfield and Maintenance Facilities 

Beale AFB has dedicated airfield and maintenance facilities. 

Expansion Potential 

There is enough capacity for expanding the training mission of RQ-4s at Beale AFB. There are 
plans to include some portion of the operator or maintenance training for the Navy’s MQ-4 
BAMS at Beale, but this would be several years from now. 


87 






Table C.2 

Facility Requirements 


Function Description 

Remarks 

Flightline pavement 

Use main ramp. 

Live ordnance load area 

Construct new LOLA on taxiway Echo. 

Maintenance hangar (new FTU) 

Use building 500. 

Maintenance hangar (3 FTU squadrons) 

Use building 301. 

FTU squadron operations (new FTU) 

For initial capability, use building 513 and a portion of building 
302; when project is complete, transition from building 513 into 
building 318. 

FTU squadron operations (Creech UAS) 

If there are two FTU squadrons, use building 318; a third FTY 
squadron can occupy all of building 302 after F-22A transition is 
complete. 

Aircraft maintenance unit (new FTU) 

Initially locate leadership team in building 303 and operate 
flightline crews out of building 301 until completion of building 
500 new construction (10,000 ft^). 

Aircraft maintenance unit (3 FTU squadrons) 

If two units, locate both leadership teams in building 303 and 
flightline crews of the second unit in building 301. If three units, 
locate third leadership team in building 302 and locate flightline 
crew in building 302. New construction for building 301 can also 
be considered for the third crew. 

Fuel system maintenance 

Use building 315. 

Precision guided munitions facility 

Construct two maintenance bays and administration. 

Munitions storage 

Construct 26-by-120-ft Hayman igloo (possibly two 60-ft 
sections). 

Aircraft parts store (new FTU) 

Use existing contract support or shared building 292 (T-38 parts 
store). 

Aircraft parts store (3 FTU squadrons) 

If T-38 mission relocates, use building 292. If no relocation, add 
space to building 292. 

Weapon release shop 

Use each respective maintenance bay (building 500 for one and 
building 302 for two). 

Casket storage 

Construct 50-by-800-ft covered storage pad in logistics readiness 
squadron yard. Requirement may grow, depending on quantity 
of MQ-9 caskets on hand. 

Bulk fuel storage 

Construct two 8,000-gallon tanks adjacent to hangars 301 and 

500 (for aviation gas) for MQ-1 and use existing JP-8 capacity for 
MQ-9. 

Various backshops 

Construct 5,000-ft^ addition on building 500. Building 301 may 
require new additional space. 


Training and Training Facilities 

Beale AFB has adequate training space. There are several different aspects of training: class¬ 
room, simulation, and live flights. There is enough classroom space available for both the 
sensor operator training and the pilot training. The pilots use a pilot simulator to cover emer¬ 
gency procedures and aircraft operation. This simulator is very limited in its ability to mimic 
real-life contingencies. The sensor operators train on Data Analysis Workstations. These two 
simulators are not compatible, so there is no true crew simulator. Such a simulator has been 


88 





Figure C.6 

Location of Holloman AFB 




RAND RR440-C6 


programmed but is still eight to ten years away.^ Crew training takes place on live missions, 
with instructors flying the mission with students. 

Military and General Support Mission 

Beale AFB is home to several other aircraft, including the MC-12, the U-2, and the T-38. The 
RQ-4 fits well with the mission of other aircraft at Beale since it was designed to eventually 
replace the U-2. RQ-4 pilots are also doing tours in the MC-12. There was some talk of main¬ 
taining dual currency in the two platforms, but the status of that plan is unknown. 

Location 

Beale AFB is located in northern California, approximately one hour outside Sacramento. The 
nearest town is Marysville, California. 

Base Loading 

Beale AFB is the hub for high-altitude surveillance. The installation is extremely large, with 
plenty of room for growth. 


5 


We understand this decision to be based on resources since on-the-job training on live missions is available. 


89 










References 


Ainsworth, Bernadette L., “Mini-Plane Newest Addition to Unmanned Family,” Transformation website, U.S. 
Department of Defense, October 17, 2005. 

Anderson, Michael G., “The Air Force Rapid Response Process: Streamlined Acquisition During Operations 
Desert Shield and Desert Storm,” Santa Monica, Calif: RAND Corporation, N-3610/3-AF, 1992. As of 
March 3, 2014: 

http://www.rand.org/pubs/notes/N3610z3.html 

Association of the United States Army, Rapid Equipping Force: Innovative Materiel Solutions to Operational 
Requirements, 2003. 

Army Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (ATTP) 3-04.15 (Field Manual 3-04.15), Marine Corps Reference 
Publication (MCRP) 3-42.lA, Navy Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (NTTP) 3-55.14, and Air Force 
Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (AFTTP) 3-2.64, Multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for 
Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.: Air Land Seal Application Center, September 
2011 . 

Baldor, Lolita C., “Military to Develop More Sophisticated Drones,” Fayetteville Observer, November 5, 2010. 

Bennett, John T, “Gates’ ISR Task Force to Join Top DoD Intel Office,” Defense News, October 7, 2010. 

Best, Jr., Richard A., “Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress,” 
Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 2010. 

Blickstein, Irv, and Charles Nemfakos, “Improving Acquisition Outcomes: Organizational and Management 
Issues,” Santa Monica, Calif: RAND Corporation, OP-262-OSD, 2009. As of March 3, 2014: 
http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP262.html 

Buchanan, David Joint Doctrine for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: The Air Force and the Army Hold the Key to 

Success, Newport, R.I.: Naval War College, 2010. 

Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, “H.R. 4310—FY13 National Defense Authorization Bill 
Chairman’s Mark,” undated. As of May 2, 2014: 

http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=e7c34l02-53e4-455a-b345-358f3e99e8cc 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Guide 3501, “The Joint Training System: A Guide for Senior Leaders,” 
June 8, 2012. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 3500.OIG, “Joint Training Policy and Guidance for the 
Armed Forces of the United States,” March 15, 2012. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Instruction 8501.01A, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combatant 
Commanders, and Joint Staff Participation in the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution System, 
December 3, 2004, current as of February 12, 2008. 

Christensen, Clayton M., and Michael Overdorf, “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change,” Harvard 
Business Review, March 2000. 

Congressional Budget Office, Policy Options for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Washington, D.C., Pub. 

No. 4083, June 9, 2011. 

Defense Science Board, Report of the Task Force on Training Superiority and Training Surprise, Washington, 
D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, January 2001. 


91 



92 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


-, Report of the Task Force on Training for Future Conflicts: Final Report, Washington, D.C.: Office of the 

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, June 2003. 

-, Report of the Task Force on Fulfilment of Urgent Operational Needs, Washington D.C.: Office of the 

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, 2009. 

Department of the Navy, Navy Planning Guide 2010, 2010. As of May 1, 2014: 
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/policy/seapower/snelO/snelO-all.pdf 

Dietrich, Shane, Wartime Test andFvaluation: Initiatives Lead to Cultural Change, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: U.S. 
Army War College, 2007. 

Director, Readiness and Training Policy and Programs, Department of Defense Training Transformation 
Implementation Plan FY2006-FY2011, Washington, D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Personnel and Readiness, February 23, 2006 

Drezner, Jeffrey A., Geoffrey Sommer, and Robert S. Leonard, Innovative Management in the DARP A High 
Altitude Fndurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program: Phase II Fxperience, Santa Monica, Calif: RAND 
Corporation, MR-1054-DARPA, 1999. As of March 3, 2014: 
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG350.html 

DSB— See Defense Science Board. 

Erwin, Sandra L, “To Meet Urgent Needs, Commanders Bypass Pentagon Acquisition System,” National 
Defense, July 2010. 

Francis, Paul, “Defense Acquisitions: Charting a Course for Lasting Reform,” Testimony Before the 
Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.: Government 
Accountability Office, GAO-09-663T, April 30, 2009. 

GAO— See Government Accountability Office. 

Gates, Robert, Secretary Gates’ Speech at National Defense University, September 29, 2008. 

Gertler, Jeremiah, US. Unmanned Aerial Systems, Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 

R42136, January 3, 2012. 

Government Accountability Office, Army Modernization: The Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program Needs 
More Specific Guidance,” Washington, D.C., GAO/NSIAD-99-11, November 1998. 

-, “Military Training: Actions Needed to Enhance DOD’s Program to Transform Joint Training,” 

Washington, D.C., GAO-05'548, June 2005. 

-, “Defense Acquisitions: Status and Challenges of Joint Forces Command’s Limited Acquisition 

Authority,” Washington, D.C., GAO-07'546, April 2007a. 

-, “Defense Acquisitions: An Analysis of the Special Operations Command’s Management of Weapon 

System Programs,” Washington, D.C., GAO-07-620, June 2007b. 

-, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Federal Actions Needed to Ensure Safety and Expand Their Potential 

Uses within the National Airspace System,” Washington, D.C., GAO-08-511, May 2008a. 

-, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Management and Integration 

of DOD Efforts to Support Warfighter Needs,” Washington, D.C., GAO-09-175, November 2008b. 

-, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Comprehensive Planning and a Results-Oriented Training Strategy Are 

Needed to Support Growing Inventories,” Washington, D.C., GAO-10-331, March 2010a. 

-, “Warfighter Support: Improvements to DOD’s Urgent Needs Processes Would Enhance Oversight 

and Expedite Efforts to Meet Critical Warfighter Needs,” Washington, D.C., GAO-10-460, April 2010b. 

Govindarajan, Vijay, Praveen K. Kapalle, and Erwin Daneels, “The Effects of Mainstream and Emerging 
Customer Orientations on Radical and Disruptive Innovations,” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 
Vol. 28, No. 1, November 2011. 

Henderson, Rebecca M., and Kim B. Clark, “Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing 
Product Technologies and the Failure of Existing Firms,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 1, 
March 1990. 











References 93 


Hicks, Kathleen H., Invigorating Defense Governance: a Beyond Goldwater-Nichols Phase 4 Report^ Washington, 
D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2008. 

Hicks, Kathleen H., David Berteau, Samuel J. Brannen, Eleanore Douglas, Nathan Freier, Clark A. Murdock, 
and Christine E. Wormuth, Transitioning Defense Organizational Initiatives: An Assessment of Key 2001—2008 
Defense Reforms, Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 2008. 

House Armed Services Committee, Gonference Report Accompanying the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense 
Appropriations Act, 112th Cong., 2nd Sess., December 17, 2012. As of March 28, 2014: 
http://docs.house.gOv/billsthisweek/20121217/CRPT-112HRPT-705.pdf 

Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, Washington, D.C.: 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2013. 

-3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations, Washington, D.C.: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2011. 

- Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Washington, D.C.: Joint 

Chiefs of Staff, 1993. 

Kennedy, Harold, ‘Army ‘Rapid Equipping Force’ Taking Root,” National Defense, Vol. XCI, No. 635, 
October 2006. 

Kennedy, Tim, “TRADOC Seeks Wartime Solutions from Rapid Equipping Force,” Army, Vol. 54, No. 8, 
August 2004. 

te Kulve, Haico, and Wim A. Smit, “Novel Naval Technologies: Sustaining or Disrupting Naval Doctrine,” 
Technological Forecasting and Social Ghange, Vol. 77, No. 7, September 2010. 

Looy, Bart Van, Thierry Martens, and Koenraad Debackere, “Organizing for Continuous Innovation: On the 
Sustainability of Ambidexterous Organization,” Greativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 14, No. 3, August 
31, 2005. 

Loxterkamp, Ed, “ISR Task Force Areas of Interest to EUCOM and AFRICOM: ISR Task Force Rapid 
Acquisition IPT,” briefing, U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command Science Technology 
Conference, 14-18 June, 2010. 

McLeary, Paul, “Industry, U.S. Army Pushing for More Helicopter Teaming,” Defense News, December 15, 

2012. 

Middleton, Michael W, Assessing the Value of the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, master’s thesis, Monterey, Calif: 
Naval Postgraduate School, 2006. 

Miles, Donna, “Rapid Equipping Force Speeds New Technology to Front Lines,” American Forces Press 
Service, August 12, 2005. 

MTTP— See Army Tactics, Techniques and Procedures .... 

Murdock, Clark A., and Michele A. Flournoy, Beyond Goldwater-Nichols: US. Government and Defense 
Reform for a New Strategic Fra: Phase 2 Report, Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International 
Studies, 2005. 

Pickup, Sharon, Air Force Training: Actions Needed to Better Manage and Determine Costs of Virtual Training 
Ffjorts, Washington, D.C.: Government Accountability Office, July 19, 2012. 

Schank, John F., Harry J. Thie, Clifford M. Graf II, Joseph Beel, and Jerry M. Sollinger, Finding the Right 
Balance: Simulator and Live Training for Navy Units, Santa Monica, Calif: RAND Corporation, MR-1441- 
NAVY, 2002. March 3, 2014: 

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MRl44l.html 

Sherman, Jason, “DoD Approves ‘Surge’ of ISR Personnel, Seeks $1 Billion More in FY-09,” Inside the Air 
Force, 2008. 

Stavridis, James G., Partnership for the Americas: Western Hemisphere Strategy and US. Southern Command, 
Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 2010. 

Sullivan, Michael J., “Rapid Acquisition of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles,” letter, GAO-08- 
884R, Washington, D.C., July 2008. 




94 Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy 


-, “Defense Acquisitions: Perspectives on Potential Changes to Department of Defense Acquisition 

Management Framework,” letter to congressional committees, Washington, D.C., GAO-09'295R, February 
27, 2009a. 

-, “Defense Acquisitions: Rapid Acquisition of MRAP Vehicles,” Testimony Before the House Armed 

Services Committee, Defense Acquisition Reform Panel, Washington, D.C.: Government Accountability 
Office, GAO-10-155T, October 2009b. 

Tellis, Gerard]., “Disruptive Technology or Visionary Leadership?” of Product Innovation 
Management, Vol. 23, No. 1, January 2006. 

Thompson, Mark, “Costly Flight Hours,” Time, April 2, 2013. As of March 26, 2014: 
http://nation.time.eom/2013/04/02/costly-flight-hours/print/ 

UAS Task Force Airspace Integration Product Team, “Unmanned Air Craft Systems Airspace Integration 
Plan,” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, March 2011. 

U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, “Small UAS (Raven) Master Trainer /4D-F8/600-F20,” course 
description, undated. As of May 6, 2013: 
http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/197th/229/SUASMT/ 

U.S. Air Force, “Report on Future Unmanned Aerial Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability,” 2011. 

- ,RPA Vector: Vision and Enabling Concepts, 2013—2038, Washington, D.C., Headquarters, United 

States Air Force, February 17, 2014. 

Vergakis, Brock, “Navy Completes 1st Unmanned Carrier Landing,” Associated Press, July 10, 2013. As of 
May 1, 2013: 

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/navy-attempt-lst-unmanned-carrier-landing 





Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) have become increasingly prevalent in and important to U.S. military operations. 
Initially serving only as reconnaissance or intelligence platforms, they now carry out such other missions as 
attacking enemy forces. The swift expansion in their numbers and in the demand for their employment has, 
however, significantly increased demands on logistics and training systems. The challenge is not simply training 
system operators but also training operational forces and their commanders to integrate the systems into combat 
operations. Much of that aspect of training has thus far happened as units employ the systems in actual operations— 
essentially, on-the-job training. UAS training, particularly for the employment of UASs, now needs to be integrated 
more formally and cost-effectively into service and joint training programs. This report develops a general concept 
for training military forces in employment of UASs and a framework for addressing the training requirements and 
discusses the limits of existing infrastructure in supporting UAS training. Interoperability among services is another 
issue, because services have thus far mainly developed training suitable for their own needs. But the services have 
established a set of multiservice tactics, techniques, and procedures for UASs, which should facilitate interoperability 
training. At present, units are not always ready for joint training, so the focus should be on improving training at the 
unit level in the employment of UAS capabilities, with the overall guiding principle being to "train as we fight." 



NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH DIVISION 


www.rand.org 


$ 32.95 


ISBN-10 0-8330-8531-X 
ISBN-13 978-0-8330-8531-3 


780833 085313 


53295 


RR-440-OSD 


9