09 Jun '12, 5am

We have more “eyes in the skies.” Shadow 'enhanced platoons' meet the growing need in #Afghanistan

We have more “eyes in the skies.” Shadow 'enhanced platoons' meet the growing need in #Afghanistan

HUNTSVILLE, AL (May 29, 2012) -- When the Afghan theater commander called on the Army to increase the number of Shadow platoons in theater during the height of the 2011 Operation Enduring Freedom summer campaign, the Army was ready to answer the call. Gen. David Petraeus, who was the Afghan theater commander at the time, saw the need to put more "eyes in the sky" as critical to the success of the campaign. There was only one problem. The very thing that made the RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aircraft system so attractive was also a limitation. Shadow platoons are an organic support to their parent brigade combat team and Special Forces groups. That means that to deploy a platoon separate from its parent BCT would strip that brigade of its UAS platoon during its next deployment. With a Boots on the Ground/Dwell ratio, which is the time deployed vs. time home at nearly 1:1, it meant...

Full article: http://www.army.mil/article/80656/

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