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Unmanned Aircraft Systems are saving soldiers lives

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Drones are the newest and neatest in the world of camera technology.  It seems like everyone wants to have a tiny flying camera these days.  The Army refers to these little gadgets as Unmanned Aircraft Systems or UAS.  This week Colonel Courtney Cote, the Project manager for UAS at Redstone Arsenal stopped by WHNT News 19 to talk about how the Army utilizes the latest technology.

The UAS is utilized by all units in the Army as a battle space resource.  Col. Cote claims that “They’re becoming more ubiquitous in the construct of the Army, as well as people are learning how to put them into their operations. They know how to integrate…to work the unmanned aircraft system into their operations, to provide them insight, intelligence, reconnaissance, security that informs them and helps mitigate some of their operational risks.”

Previously, if a unit wanted to know for example what was over a hill, a soldier had to physically go to the other side of the hill to find out, which could have been dangerous.  Today that is not the case and the use of UAS puts fewer soldiers at risk.  “It gives them the opportunity to create situational awareness.” says Col. Cote.  “Whereas before they had to put somebody at risk in order to do that. Now they’re putting a weapons system out there that allows them to create a situational awareness about what is out there, assess it, adjust their operational plan according to what they see and inform whatever they need to do in the battle space.”

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems are saving lives.  “Anytime that we can not expose the manned platform or soldiers to a known risk, and we can mitigate the risk by using the unmanned systems in any way shape of form with an unmanned aircraft system, or other aircraft system, then that’s a win for the soldier.” said Col. Cote.

View our entire conversation with Colonel Courtney Cote here in three parts: