Current Army Aviation combat operations utilize an employment strategy that teams a rotary wing aircraft with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), thereby leveraging strategic advantages of each aircraft’s unique capabilities, endurance, and payloads. Clear and effective communications between the airborne helicopter pilot and the ground-based UAS operator are critical for successful Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) missions. Previous studies have recommended additional training in tactical communications for the UAS payload operator in order to support precision and timeliness in teaming engagements. In accordance with Army Learning Model 2015, an engaging, skills-adaptive, computer game was developed to train critical MUM-T skills for the UAS payload operator. The training game emphasizes the UAS operator’s concise tactical communications exercised in doctrinally correct MUM-T mission scenarios with immediate Soldier feedback. Game players are initially exposed to scripted MUM-T training mission scenarios that culminate in a freeplay mission campaign. Performance measures focus on both accomplishment of mission objectives and accurate tactical communications protocol. Game players are given individual scorecards that display skill advancement and potential remediation for knowledge and skill deficiencies. An initial user assessment is scheduled for game and feature refinement. Future implementation of aggregated soldier data will be explored with UAS course instructors. Results from the user assessments and recommendations on tactical communications training will be disseminated when available.
Flaherty, S. R.,
& Bink, M. L.
(2015). Training Manned-Unmanned Teaming Skills in Army Aviation. 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 548-553.