General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently supported a Military Free Fall (MFF) High-Altitude Training exercise for the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (SFG) (Airborne).
During a joint training exercise in January, the GA-ASI-owned MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft remotely monitored the exercise, providing overwatch capabilities. The MQ-9 was deployed from Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz. and GA-ASI provided a live video stream from the MQ-9 to soldiers and airmen at Eglin Air Force Base, FL.
The MFF consisted of combination drops with Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) bundles. In addition to delivering overwatch for the 7th SFG(A) personnel, the exercise provided an opportunity for GA-ASI aircrews to train on real-world maneuvers and tactics that will allow them to better support future DOD operations.
“GA-ASI is committed to supporting our Nation’s warfighters across the spectrum of military operations,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Strategic Development for DoD J.R. Reid. “The incredible persistence of the MQ-9 provided overwatch of the 7th SFG operators unlike what could be performed by a manned aircraft. This innovative use of the MQ-9 supported the goals of the 7th SFG and GA-ASI looks forward supporting future operations.”
The Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) evaluated the MQ-9’s capabilities in the areas of mission planning, accuracy and overall performance during the exercise. The ODA is the operational element of Special Forces organized to conduct operations completely independently, unlike the rest of the Army, which has a hierarchy of tactical and strategic operations.
According to the ODA, the GA-ASI unmanned aircraft met all expectations to support MFF missions as a real-world capability insertion option to increase troop protection, accountability, and overall situational awareness.
With more than 25 years of experience in defence publishing, Global Business Press and its industry leading titles Asian Defence Technology, Asian Airlines & Aerospace and Daily News are the leading defence publications in the region, present at more international shows and exhibitions than any other competing publication in the region.