The mission of the RQ-7B has changed radically since 2003, when unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ownership shifted from Military Intelligence (MI) to Army Aviation. Instead of passive observation, RQ-7B operators must now acquire active scout-reconnaissance skills. Initial training takes place at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, the Army’s main MI installation. Operators then report to their unit, usually a Brigade Combat Team (BCT). This research focused on (a) type training received at the schoolhouse (MI/scout-reconnaissance), (b) training received at the BCT, and (c) opportunities for training. It was found that schoolhouse training still was primarily MI, (e.g., image analysis and vehicle identification). Interviews with BCT staff officers identified 10 critical scout-reconnaissance skills not trained in the schoolhouse. These required additional training, mostly on the job in the unit, because opportunities for scout-reconnaissance training at home station were limited. The research concluded that more scout-reconnaissance training should take place at the schoolhouse.
Stewart, J. E.,
& Bink, M. L.
(2011). Identifying Training Gaps in RQ-7B Shadow: A U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft System. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 463-468.