06:23 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Spc. Robert Clarno of Sierra Vista, Ariz., left, and Spc. Jeremy Squires of Wellsboro, Penn., perform maintenance on a Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle following its fllight at an American military base in Baqouba, Iraq in this Aug. 31, 2004 file photo

    US Brigade Combat Team Test New Shadow Drones in Germany

    © AP Photo / Sgt. Kimberly Snow
    Military & Intelligence
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    A platoon from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division stationed in Germany conducted the first flights of its RQ-7B drones.

    US MQ-9 Reaper drone in flight
    © Photo : US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A platoon from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division stationed in Germany conducted the first flights of its RQ-7B Shadow Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) since arriving in Europe in January, the US Army announced in a statement.

    “Our purpose out here is to support the brigade’s reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition objectives,” Unmanned Ariel System platoon leader, 1st Lt. Andrew Rotolo explained on Thursday. “This [RQ-7B Shadow UAS] will ultimately enhance our use as a combat multiplier and our effectiveness as a brigade-level asset, especially during multinational events.”

    The UAS Platoon, as it is called, are training for upcoming Atlantic Resolve multinational exercises Combined Resolve VIII, Saber Guardian 17, and Combined Resolve IX, the statement noted.

    The UAS Platoon is expected to joint an armor regiment, the statement added. The Shadow UAS will provide spotting for live-fire artillery exercises.

    In April, most of the units of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, will gather in Germany to prepare for the Combined Resolve VIII exercise with other NATO forces.

    Since 2014, UAS Platoons have operated in Army aviation combat units as part of manned-unmanned Teams with the Apache helicopter.

    The RQ-7B Shadow has a wingspan of 20 feet and can loiter for nine hours from take-off to landing.

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