U.S. Marines from a Security Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) held a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) with Colombian marines from Colombian counter intelligence aboard the Colombian Marine Infantry Training Base, Feb. 2.

The SCTF is embarked aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) in support of Amphibious Southern Partnership Station 2011 (A-SPS 11) in the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility to strengthen ties with regional partner nations.

The A-SPS concept is dedicated to building relationships, interoperability, and improving each participating country’s capabilities.

The exchange consisted of an overview of the Raven RQ11 system’s capability, basic information about the Raven, and a hands-on flight demonstration.

The Raven is a mobile, lightweight but tough, user-friendly observation information system. It takes ten minutes to setup, weighs approximately 4.2 lbs, and has a wingspan of 51 inches.

“The Raven is meant for smaller units, and is typically used for reconnaissance missions,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Christopher J. Maharg, Raven subject matter expert. “It is a great tool because it shoots ‘live-view’ video.”

The Raven can remain in flight for approximately 80 minutes, and collects live-feed video data in both color and infrared. It can collect color video looking forward and to the side, while infrared is strictly forward.

“This was a great demonstration,” said Capt. Brian C. Nickerson, A-SPS 11 mission commander. “It was impressive watching our young Marines operate this system and speak with confidence and authority on the Raven’s capabilities. It was also interesting to hear our Colombian partner’s share their description of a similar battlefield capability.”


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