Academy Incorporates UAV Instruction

US Air Force Academy officials have integrated unmanned aerial vehicle operations into the school’s curriculum. “The Air Force has made unmanned aircraft systems a priority for our service, and the value of these capabilities is evidenced on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lt. Gen. Michael C. Gould, academy superintendent. He continued, “So it is only fitting that our cadets have a keen understanding of this vital piece of our national security.” On July 12, four cadets began training with the academy’s two Viking 300 UAVs at Camp Red Devil on Ft. Carson, Colo., as part of the institution’s UAV and intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance education program. These four then began to train 21 other cadets starting on July 22. Lt. Col. Dean Bushey, the academy’s unmanned aircraft system (UAS) director, said he anticipates that the program will grow to include about 300 cadets. The cadets themselves are enthusiastic about the exposure. “This is the future of the military,” said Cadet 2nd Class Rupert Domingo. He added, “It’s good to have our eyes in the sky and know what’s going on.” (Colorado Springs report by Ann Patton)