Home' Army News : February 17th 2010 Contents It's time to tell us what other hats you wear
Reservists, the ADF's Civil Skills Data e-survey is now live. This is your opportunity to tell us about your civil skills,
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To complete the CSD e-survey, use your personal computer or the DRN to go to civilskillsdata.com today.
Skills in Reserve
WORLD NEWS 15
Army February 17, 2011
By AB Melanie Schinkel
THE ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle (UAV) detachment in Tarin Kot,
Afghanistan, has been through some changes
with a new facility, extended area of opera-
tions and the formation of Combined Team
Operated and maintained by a team of 26
personnel from 20 STA Regt, the ScanEagle
UAV supports the Special Operations Task
Group, CTU and Afghan National Security
Forces with surveillance and reconnaissance
UAV battery commander Maj Rory Pratt
said the detachment had clocked up 2900 flying
hours, conducted 463 flights and completed 511
missions in a six-month period.
"The ScanEagle detachment has operated
constantly for 160 days -- only 16 of which
were lost because of bad weather or mainte-
nance," Maj Pratt said.
"The detachment recently moved into its
new ground control station facility and we
have started cooperating with a team of six
"Working with the Singaporean team has
been an excellent experience and they have
provided some very good ideas for Army
about what an imagery analyst detachment can
The detachment is primarily tasked with
reconnaissance, surveillance and direct-support
"JFIC is the acronym we use, which stands
for 'just flying in circles'. The majority of our
days are spent conducting surveillance, but at
any moment the team may be required to pro-
vide information to command on the ground
about how a battle is unfolding," Maj Pratt said.
"ScanEagle also provides direct support sur-
veillance, which involves surveillance in depth,
keeping overwatch on soldiers patrolling on
the ground and communicating with them as
Some of the positions that make up the
detachment include two imagery analysts, air
vehicle operators, mission commanders, an avi-
ation liaison officer and operations officer
Military geospatial information (MGI) tech-
nician Cpl Anthony Norlander is the second
Army member to work as an imagery analyst
"This is a completely different job for me.
Imagery analyst work is nothing like MGI
work, so it has been a major challenge," he said.
"I've stepped up and taken on the new role.
Now that I'm three months into my deploy-
ment, I'm over the initial teething problems and
doing some really good work."
Air vehicle operator Gnr Greg Armstrong
said his job involved launching the aircraft, fly-
ing it and recovering it after missions.
"Once the ground crew launch the aircraft
from the launcher, I operate it from the ground
control station. I use a click and drag computer
program to operate the payload and drive the
camera," Gnr Armstrong said.
"This deployment has been a great expe-
rience. Back in Australia the flying is either
simulated or an exercise, but here I get to do my
job for real."
Flight ready: Air vehicle operator Gnr Greg Armstrong attaches a wing to the ScanEagle UAV
for a mission over Tarin Kot.
Photo by AB Melanie Schinkel
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