RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft
The RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft from AeroVironment

U.S. Marines are getting hands on training with small, unmanned aircraft at The Basic School officer course.

According to a release from the Marines:

Thirteen TBS instructors finished a two-week course May 22, where they learned how to operate, maintain and integrate the RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft system into their upcoming basic school curriculum. The course, held at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va., was led by a team from the  Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263) Training and Logistics Support Activity.

AeroVironment, the developer of the Raven, says the Raven B DDL system, an enhanced version of the battle proven Raven B system, is a lightweight solution designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for military applications requiring low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence.

How does AeroVironment define lightweight? The RQ-11B Raven weighs just 4.2 pounds with a wingspan of 4.5 feet.

“We are taking TBS training to the next level through the use of unmanned ISR and encouraging student officers to include some basic aviation considerations into their mission planning,” said Maj. Peter Fukushima, who is overseeing the training, according to a release. “Through early exposure to a variety of aviation assets at TBS, the idea is to foster greater air-ground integration and enable students to be successful in the future.”

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