Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability
Department of Defense
Report to Congress on
Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Training, Operations, and
Under Secretary ofDefense
for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
Preparation ofthis report/study cost the Department ofDefense a total of approximately
$17,000 in Fiscal Years 2011 - 2012.
This report is being provided to the congressional defense committees as requested in House
Armed Services Committee Report 111-491, accompanying the Ike Skelton National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011.
TASK: Report on Future Unmanned Aerial Systems Training, Operations, and
The rapidgrowth ofUAS inventories to meet operational demands raises a number of
questions concerning the military services' ability to support these inventories in the near-
and long-term. In particular, to support their UAS inventories, the military services must
train sufficient numbers ofpersonnel to operate and maintain the aircraft, provide adequate
facilities and other infrastructure to sustain them, andprovide sufficient access to airspace
and training ranges to train militarypersonnel within the United States and at military bases
The committee directs the Secretary ofDefense to provide a report to the congressional
defense committees with itsfiscal year 2012 budget request that describes the military
services'plans to support their current andplanned UAS inventories. The report should, at a
(1) Current UAS inventory levels andplanned UAS inventory levelsfor eachfiscal year
(2) Plans to supply the number ofpersonnel neededto operate the aircraft andsensor
payloads and to perform UAS maintenance;
(3) Current andplanned UAS basing andother operating locations;
(4) Progress made in providing the number offacilities neededfor UAS inventories to
support operations and training and thefunding requiredfor any additionalfacilities; and
(5) The availability ofairspace, ranges, and other infrastructure at each planned UAS
location, and a description ofthe steps that the servicesplan to take to overcome any
limitations that adversely impact UAS training.
The Department ofDefense (DoD) continues to increase its investment in unmanned
to meet battlefield commanders' demand for their unique capabilities.
The emphasis on long-endurance, unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
(lSR) assets - many with strike capabilities - is a direct reflection ofrecent operational
experience and further Combatant Commander demands. This increase in demand has
resulted in a large number ofUAS capable ofa wide range ofmissions. This large number
offielded UAS has also driven a strong demand for access within the National Airspace
System (NAS). This need for airspace access to test new systems, train operators, and
conduct continental United States (CONVS)-based missions has quickly exceeded the current
airspace available for military operations. The situation will only be exacerbated as units
return from overseas contingencies.
operations conducted outside ofRestricted, Warning, and
Prohibited areas are authorized under a temporary Certificate ofWaiver or Authorization
(COA) or waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or under limited
conditions outlined in the 2007 DoD-FAA Memorandum ofAgreement (MoA). DoD is
actively engaged in coordinating efforts on behalfofthe Military Departments and
Combatant Commands to shorten and simplify the FAA COA process to allow greater
unmanned access to the NAS, with direct engagement through the interagency
Executive Committee (ExCom). The
ExCom is a joint committee composed ofsenior
executives from four member organizations: DoD, FAA, the Department ofHomeland
Security (DHS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The
ExCom is to enable increased and ultimately routine access ofFederal
engaged in public aircraft operations into the NAS to support operational, training,
development, and research requirements ofFAA, DoD, DHS, and NASA. DoD is also
pursuing ground-based and airborne sense-and-avoid efforts to eventually supplant or
significantly reduce the need for COAs. In the future, DoD will continue to utilize
Restricted, Warning, and Prohibited areas but will also continue to develop the necessary
technologies to access other airspace safely and in accordance with applicable federal
This document outlines planned force capability growth and forecasted attrition of
aircraft through FY 2017; Military Department personnel required for training and
operations; personnel and aircraft basing intentions; and required military construction
(MILCON) and airspace requirements for bases hosting
Within the report, the Military
Departments provide current and planned inventories, personnel requirements to operate and
maintain the systems, planned bases and operating locations, and progress with facilities to
support inventories. Also, the report addresses the airspace integration challenge through
implementation ofthe DoD Airspace Integration Plan, mUlti-agency collaboration, and
ongoing negotiations with FAA. The Military Departments have a cohesive plan to address
basing, funding, and manning in support offorecasted training and operations.
Effective employment of
worldwide is an integral part ofDoD military
operations in the NAS are required to ensure direct mission support to
Combatant Commanders to both train and maintain ready forces and pursue operational test
are utilized to conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland
Security and, when approved by the Secretary ofDefense, Defense Support ofCivil
Authorities (DSCA) missions (e.g., disaster relief, search and rescue). Accomplishing these
missions requires airspace to efficiently train, develop, and support
report describes the Military Departments'
inventories, personnel, sustainment, and site
plans to support and execute
AS missions from now through FY 2,017.
SECTION 1 - Current VAS inventory levels and pial/ned VAS inventory levels/or each
jiscalyear through FY 2017:
The following table describes the current
program of record inventory levels
planned through FY 2017, net of attrition.
FY12 FY13 FY
FY15 F'l 16 FY
6717 6921 7074
Table I: UAS Inventory Levels (FYI2 budgeted inventory with noted exception)
Reflects RQ-4B Block 20140
remaining after FY
(Block 30 cancelled in President 's
SECTION 2 - Plalls to supply the lIumber ofpersollllel lleeded to operate the aircraft amI
sensor payloads alld to perform VAS mailltellallce:
This section provides manpower planning by the Military Departments for the
necessary personnel to operate the aircraft and mission sensor. UAS pilots/operators
initial, continuation, upgrade, and proficiency/currency training sorties in the NAS. SllTIllar
requirements apply to sensor operators in their respective mission areas.
As ofDecember 16, 20II, the manpower requirements for Remote Piloted Aircraft
(RPA) pilots and Sensor Operators (SO) to support 57 MQ-I/9 and 4 RQ-4 Combat Air
Patrols (CAPS)I, including operational, test, and training requirements, as well as appropriate
overhead and staffrequirements, were:
1 able 2: RPA Crew Manpower Requirements
As ofDecember 16, 2011 , the number of trained RPA pilots and SOs available and
the resulting personnel shortfall to provide 57
and 4 RQ-4 CAPs, including
operational, test, and training requirements, as well as appropriate overhead and staff
I able 3: Current RPA Crew Mannlllg
The temporary shortfalls in aircrew manning were overcome by using a minimum of
seven aircrews vice the programmed ten aircrews per CAP and by prioritizing operational,
test, and training requirements above overhead and staff requirements.
Beginning on March 30, 201 1, the Air Force was tasked to provide additional CAPs
to support new contingency operations in Libya and a summer surge in Afghanistan. During
the fall and winter of2011 , the Air Force provided 60
CAPs and 4 RQ-4 CAPs. The
Air Force took the following actions in order to support this additional temporary surge:
MQ-I /9: 4 aircraft per combat air patrol (CAP) and 10 mission control element (MCE) crews per CAP; RQ-4:
3 aircraft per CAP, 15 pilots for MCE, 5 pilots for launch and recovery element (LRE) and 15 sensor operators
(SO) per orbit.
(a) Stood down a portion ofthe formal training to provide three CAPs;
(b) Mobilized Air Force Reserve (AFR) and Air National Guard (ANG) units to provide
two CAPs for 7 months;
(c) Resourced ANG CAP with volunteers; and
(d) Accelerated the early stand up oftwo planned CAPs.
These actions impacted the production of trained aircrews, requiring the Air Force to
reconstitute the force during FY 2012. On December 16,2011, the Air Force reduced
sourcing to 57
CAPs, allowing experienced aircrews to be reassigned to the formal
training units at Holloman AFB as instructors. Additionally, the Air Force will increase
hiring ofcontract instructors to augment uniformed instructors. These actions will enable the
Air Force to increase RPA aircrew manning to full strength at a sustainable rate.
The FY 2015 manpower requirements for RPA pilots and SOs to provide 65
and 8 RQ-4 CAPs, including operational, test, and training requirements, as well as all
overhead and staff requirements, are:
rable 4: I-Y 201 5 RPA Crew ReqUirements
[n order to meet this RPA aircrew manpower requirement, the Air Force has
implemented two key initiatives. The first initiative created Undergraduate RPA Training
(URT) for RPA pilots with the 18X Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) as well as a distinct
training pipeline for RPA SOs with the I U AFSC. These programs solve the problem of
insufficient capacity in existing pipelines (Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) and IN
AFSC training) to meet RPA aircrew operational requirements. URT production is planned
at 60 for FY 2011 , 146 for FY 2012, and 168 in FY 2013-201 5, while the 1U training
pipeline is planned for 353 in FY 2011 , 327 in FY 2012, 255 in FY 2013, and 202 in
FY 2014-2016. The l8X and 1U career fields will comprise the majority ofthe RPA aircrew
force structure in the future. Until that time, the Air Force will continue to use traditional
pilots with the IIX AFSC and SOs with the IN and IA AFSCs to augment the RPA aircrew
The second initiative increased the capacity of the
Formal Training Units
(FTUs) in order to meet operational RPA requirements. There is currently one active duty
MQ-I FTU and one active duty MQ-9 FTU as well as a launch and recovery training
squadron. Additionally, there is an Air National Guard MQ-I FTU and an Air National
Guard MQ-9 FTU producing pilots in FY 2012. As the Air Force evolves toward an MQ-9
fleet, aircrew production focus will shift from MQ-1 to MQ-9, which will require standing up
an additional active duty MQ-9 FTU. The expected capacity ofthe MQ-1/9 FTUs will be
310 initial qualification MQ-1/9 aircrew and 30 MQ-1 to MQ-9 aircrew conversions in
FY 2012 and 360 initial qualification MQ-l/9 aircrew and 40 MQ-l to MQ-9 aircrew
conversions in FY 2013. These training slots support ActivelReserve Component and
foreign training requirements. For the RQ-4, there is one active duty FTU that has a capacity
of 72 pilots and 36 SOs per year. This RPA pilot training infrastructure and the associated
capacity will enable the Air Force to meet the operational RPA aircrew requirement and
continue to sustain the enterprise in the future.
Air Force RPA organizational level maintenance utilizes a combination ofmilitary
and Contracted Logistics Support (CLS) personnel in support ofoperations. Organizational-
level maintenance contractors primarily reside within the MQ-l community, performing both
home station and deployed maintenance actions alongside military maintenance technicians.
Military maintenance personnel currently perform the majority oforganizational level
maintenance within the MQ-9 community. MQ-l/9s require up to 30 military maintenance
personnel to stand-up an initial CAP. This number increases up to 65 military maintenance
personnel supporting up to five CAPs. MQ-l contractors gain efficiencies by conducting
Cross Utilization Training (CUT) with their personnel enabling the contractor to conduct
home station and deployed maintenance operations with a significantly smaller footprint.
The RQ-4 also utilizes a combination ofmilitary maintenance and CLS personnel to perform
the majority oforganizational-level maintenance actions. RQ-4s require up to 60 military
maintenance personnel per detachment to support operations. As with the MQ-l/9s,
contractors gain efficiencies by conducting CUT training with their personnel to reduce
Original equipment manufacturers currently conduct all Air Force RPA depot-level
maintenance actions. A Business Case Analysis (BCA) to determirie a course ofaction for
switching to a more organic depot structure is underway within the MQ-l/9 community.
Preliminary findings will be concluded by June 2012. The Life Cycle Sustainment plan for
the RQ-4 is complete and awaiting final signatures. A BCA to determine a course ofaction
for switching to a more organic depot structure will follow in the near future.
Air Force Maintenance Career Field Managers conducted Utilization and Training
Workshops in April and May of2011 to determine training requirements for all aircraft
maintenance AFSCs with the exception ofWeapons. An interim mechanical RPA course
(Crew Chief, Engines and Hydraulics technicians) began in August 2011. For the long term,
robust mechanical and technical courses are currently under development with
implementation ofa mechanical course scheduled for August 2012.
The Army uses three Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) to support UAS. Two
ofthese MOS, 15W Operator and 15E Repairer, are for enlisted Soldiers and one, 150U
Technician, is for a Warrant Officer. The exception to this is the small RQ-11B Raven
systems which are operated by any Soldier qualified through a IO-day flight training course.
The 15W Operator is qualified to fly the aircraft, operate the sensors, and
emplace/displace the system. Individual aircraft qualifications are tracked by an additional
skill identifier. The 15W is the feeder MOS for the 150U Technician MOS.
The 15E Repairer is responsible for the maintenance ofall parts ofthe UAS, to
include the aircraft, ground control stations, data links, and supporting equipment. The 15E,
like the 15W, has an additional skill identifier to denote specific system qualifications.
The 150U Warrant Officer provides leadership and expertise in the UAS unit. These
individuals interface with their higher headquarters and provide oversight ofaviation safety,
standardization, and maintenance programs.
Manning numbers are based on Unit Modified Table of Organizational Equipment
(MTOE) requirements. The exception to this is the RQ-II B Raven where the number of
trained personnel is at the discretion ofthe owning Commander. The numbers included in
this document for Raven are the minimum required.
MQ-IC MQ-5B RQ-7B RQ-llB Total
Table 5: Current Manpo\\'cr Requirements
MQ-IC MQ-5B RQ-7B RQ-llB Total
Table 6: FY 2015 Manpower ReqUirements
Due to the rapid growth ofthe Army UAS fleet, all th.ree ofthese MOS have been
stTessed to maintain pace with demand. To ensure wartime requirements are met, the Army
has prioritized the distribution ofUAS personnel to units preparing to deploy, followed by
new unit fielding and then other units. This prioritization has allowed the Army to meet
wartime requirements with well-trained and integrated units.
The Navy is currently conducting strategic plarming for the long term marlpower
required to operate and maintain its UAS.
Vertical Take Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV)-Littoral
Combat Ship (LCS): Detachments that operate from the LCS are known as composite
Aviation Detachments (AvDets). These composite AvDets operate and maintain both the
MH-60R or MH-60S and one or two MQ-8B Fire Scout aircraft. This minimally manned (4
officers, 19 enlisted) detachment structure cannot be split to operate the different
platforms independently. Therefore, the UAS portion ofLCS composite AvDet manrung
not separate from traditional helicopter manning.
The MH-60NTUAV composite AvDets will support all LCS seaframes with a 3:3:1
rotation. Under the 3:3:1 plan, three aviation detachments ofpersonnel will use three AvDets
to support one LCS deployment. One A vDet will be deployed, one A vDet will be
completing training requirements as it prepares to deploy, and one AvDet will be conducting
turnover and upkeep training to maintain aviation proficiency having recently returned from
At the completion ofthe fleet response training plan (FRTP) cycle, personnel will
return to their squadrons for further assignment, in accordance with the squadron's
detachment loading, while MQ-8B airframes will be returned to the Contract Logistics Site
(CLS) base. Personnel will be managed within squadrons to ensure operational exposure and
experience is gained
both manned and unmanned assignments to enable a quality spread of
personnel, and to attain personal career progression milestones. This will promote VTUAV
community integration and ensure the community has a flexible manpower base to draw
upon when supporting various detachment configurations.
VTUAV-Special Operations Forces (SOF) ISR:
Navy is evaluating the manning structure
needed to provide a VTUAV -only aviation detachment. The leading proposal is to develop
unmanned detachments, or "UDets" from HQU-I0, the VTUAV fleet replacement
Nine detachments would be needed to support three constantly deployed UDets, totaling
approximately 336 additional personnel. Alternately, a separate expeditionary VTUAV
squadron could be organized to perform the same function but at higher personnel cost due to
the lack ofsynergy with an existing unit.
Personnel that will operate and maintain the.MQ-4C BAMS will transition from the
existing Maritime Patrol (P-3C Orion) community. The existing community will transition
from the P-3C to the P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-4C. At full operational capability in
FY 2020, it is estimated that 866 personnel will be needed for five worldwide BAMS orbits.
U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Shadow and STUAS:
Three active-duty and one reserve-duty
Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VMU) squadrons are manned at or near the required
Table ofOrganization (T/O) manning level of 193 Marines and Sailors. Each VMU is
comprised ofa headquarters element (40 personnel) and three individual RQ-7B
detachments, each comprised of51 Marines. Each RQ-7B detachment is capable of
independent operations, and contains all necessary intelligence, communications, flight
operations, and maintenance personnel. In 2012, an additional 81 Marines to support nine
RQ-21A STUAS systems will begin arriving at each active-duty VMU squadron. Each
RQ-21A STUAS detachment will contain nine Marines and be capable ofindependent UAS
flight operations with required host unit support.
SECTION 3 - Current amIplanned VAS basing and otlter operating locations:
The rapid increase in fielded UAS has created a strong demand for access within the
NAS and international airspace. The demand for airspace to test new systems and train UAS
operators has quickly exceeded the current airspace available for these activities.
below shows the projected number ofDoD UAS locations
the next 6 years, many Without
access to airspace compatible for military operations under the current regulatory
Figure I: Representative DoD
NAS access for UAS is currently limited primarily due to regulatory compliance
issues and interim policies. DoD UAS operations conducted outside of restricted, warning,
and prohibited areas are authorized only under a (temporary) eOA from the FAA. The eOA
process is adequate for enabling a small number offlights but does not provide the level of
airspace access necessary to accomplish the wide range of DoD UAS missions at current and
projected operational tempos (OPTEMPOs). This constraint will only be exacerbated as
combat operations shift from abroad and systems return to U.S. locations.
If DoD UAS do not have direct access to Restricted and Warning Areas (e.g., airfield
located within a restricted area), a eOA is required. Obtaining a eOA requires a significant
amount oftime and resources - both to complete an application and to work through the
FAA approval process. The Military Departments currently have 88 active eOAs at various
locations around the country, most of which provide access to a restricted or warning area.
Many restricted areas are small in size and will only accommodate a smaller sized UAS.
Table 7 lists the Departments' 110 potential UAS basing locations and the UAS likely to fly
at that location.
I able 7: Planned DoD VAS LocatIOns by
Dilly block 20140 RQ-48 aircraft remain at Beale AFlJ after
Gllthori=ed (Block 30s cancelled).
SECTION 4 - Progress made in providillg tfle IIlImber ojjacilities lIeededjor VAS
illvelltories to Sllpport operations alld trainillg alld tflejlllldillg requiredjor allY additiollal
Past, current, and future MILCON projects necessary to support UAS operations and
training are presented by each ofthe Military Departments below:
The Air Force UAS MILCON chart (Table 8: Air Force UAS MILCON Projects)
shows past, current, and future MILCON projects supporting MQ-I , MQ-9, and RQ-4 UAS
funded by the FY 2012 President's Budget.
Additional Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) MILCON includes: a
$30.4-million SOF RPA Hangar/ AMU Facility at Cannon Air Force Base to replace Hangar
119 and $1.95 million to beddown the 2"'1 Special Operations Squadron (SOS) once a final
location is determined.
GLOBAL HAWK SQUADRON
GLOBAL HAWK UPGRADE MAINTENANCE
GLOBAL HAWK DINING FACILITY
GLOBAL HAWK UPGRADE DOCKS
GLOBAL HAWK DORMITORY
PREDATOR MAINTENANCE COMPLEX
GLOBAL HAWK UPGRADE DOCK
GLOBAL HAWK ADDITION TO AGE FACILITY
PREDATOR OPERATIONS FACrLlTIES
PREDATOR MAINTENANCE AND LOGISTICS
PREDATOR MUNITIONS COMPLEX
PREDATOR TRAINING FACILITLES
GLOBAL HAWK TWO BAY MAINTENANCE
PREDATOR VARIOUS FACILITIES
PREDATOR VARIOUS FACILITIES
GLOBAL HAWK AIRCRAF MAINTENANCE AND
PREDATOR OPERATIONS COMPLEX
PREDATOR OPERATIONS COMPLEX
BRAC - CONVERT HANGAR FOR UAV
UAS OPS FACILITY
UAS DIl'.JING HALL
UAS FLIGHT SIM
UAS 432 WING HQ MISSION SPT FACILITY
UAS MAIN GATE/SEWER TRANSFER STATION
HANCOCK, NY TFI-REAPER IOC/FOC
GLOBAL HAWK AIRCRAFT MALNT AND OPS
UAS FTU COMPLEX
TFI-PREDATOR BEDDOWN - FOC
S. CALIF LOG
TFI-PREDATOR LRE BEDDOWN
FTDRUM, NY TFI-REAPER LRE BEDDOWN
UAS SQUADRON OPS FACILITY
UAS ADD/ALTER MAINTENANCE HANGAR
UAS MAINTENANCE HANGAR
UAS AIRFIELD FIRE/CRASH RESCUE STATION
$11 ,710 RTA'
UAS SATCOM RELAY PADS AND FACILITY
TFI - PREDATOR FOC - INCREASED ORBITS
HUACHUCA, TFI-PREDATOR LRE BEDDOWN
$11 ,000 DSG'
FT DRUM, NY TFI - REAPER INFRASTRUCTURE
TFI-ALTER UAV HANGAR
UAS SATCOM RELAY PADS AND FACILITY
ALTER PREDATOR OPERATIONS CENTER
UNSPECIFIED MQ-9 PLANNING AND DESIGN
UNSPECIFIED MQ-9 REAPER FACILITIES
PREDATOR OPERATIONS CENTER
Table 8: Air force UAS MILCON Projects
Ready To Advertise (RTA)
(Contracting Package is Ready
The Army VAS MILCON listed below shows current and future MILCON projects
supporting MQ-I C, MQ-5B, RQ-7B and RQ- II B that are funded through the FY 201 2
MQ-IC Gray Eagle: The Gray Eagle system will be stationed at existing Army Airfields.
Table 9: MQ-I C Gray Eagle MI LCON) describes the budget for 14 ofthe 17 Companies
(last three Companies are outside the current MILCON funding window). Each of the
identified hangars will house up to three Companies of Gray Eagles.
Fort Huachuca (Schoolhouse)
FY 20I: $10 million
FY 2011: $55 million; FY 2012: $45 million
FY 2012: $68 million
FY 2011: $47 million; FY 2013: $20 million
FY 2012: $72 million
FY 2012: $68 million
Tobie 9: MQ-IC Gray Eogle MILCON
MQ-5B Hunter: No new facilities are planned as all three Companies and the training units
are already fielded.
RQ-7B Shadow: There are no unit-specific facilities planned for the Shadow Platoon as the
system is a subordinate unit whose maintenance and storage facilities are part oftheir parent
company's Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility. To improve training and reduce
maintenance, the Army will prepare field sites in local training areas that are dedicated for
the Shadow VAS . The field site facility includes a I 000-foot-by-50-foot paved landing strip
and adjacent support building. The building is a rudimentary structure (3200 square feet) to
support Shadow sustainment, provide shelter from adverse weather, and secure the platforms.
The concept is for units to occupy the facility on a temporary basis and schedule it as they
would a range or training area. It enables launch and recovery under the veil ofthe
installation's restricted airspace and greatly reduces system damage risks during training.
Landing strips are funded in FY 2012 for Fort Bragg, Fort Drum, Fort Bliss, Fort Carson,
Fort Lewis, Yakima Training Center, Fort Riley; and, in FY 201 3, for AP Hill, Atterbury,
Fort Chaffee, Fort Dix, Fort Indian Gap, Knox, Korea, Fort McCoy, Orchard Training Area,
Fort Richard, Fort Pickett, Camp Ripley, Camp Roberts, and Camp Shelby.
RQ-llB Raven: Due to its small size, dedicated UAS facilities are not required for this
RQ-4A Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS D): BAMS D aircraft
are launched and recovered from a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the U.S. Central
Command (USCENTCOM) and return to NAS Patuxent River, MD, for periodic
maintenance. Facilities for BAMS D are temporary in nature (occupying available hangar
space at Patuxent River). Following the declaration of initial operating capability of BAMS,
the BAMS D UAS are planned to be returned to the tenant command (NAS Patuxent River)
MQ-4C BAMS: Table 10: Navy UAS MILCON Projects) shows current and future
MILCON projects that are funded by the FY 2012 President's Budget. Additional Navy
MILCON is planned outside the FYDP to support continued establishment ofUAS
When production commences in FY 2013, BAMS aircraft will initially be located at
NAS Patuxent River, MD, for testing. The first two orbits in USCENTCOM and
U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)will be established with aircraft located OCONUS in
FY 2016 and FY 2017. BAMS training and maintenance facilities are currently planned at
Beale AFB, CA, and at Main Operating Bases (MOB) NAS Jacksonville, FL, and NAS
Whidbey Island, W A. Additionally, FOBs are planned for Andersen AFB, Guam, and NAS
Sigonella, Sicily, and at a location in USCENTCOM.
A BAMS UAS test facility is currently under construction at NAS Patuxent River
with a completion date of October 2012. Designs are complete for the BAMS Mission
Systems Operator training facility at NAS Jacksonville, and construction will begin upon
receipt ofFY 2012 funding. Three additional projects - USCENTCOM FOB site, BAMS
Mission Control Systems Facility at NAS Jacksonville MOB, and BAMS Maintenance
Training Facility at Beale AFB - are in the contracting and development process for FY 2013
funding. BAMS' initial USCENTCOM FOB site location is pending host nation notification.
BAMS TEST HANGAR FACILITY
BAMS MISSION SYSTEMS OPERATOR
BAMS MAIN OPERATING BASE MISSION
CONTROL SYSTEMS F ACrLlTY
BAMS FORWARD OPERATING BASE
MIDDLE EAST FACILITIES
BAMS MAINTENANCE TRAINING FACILITY
BAMS FORWARD OPERATING BASE
BAMS MAIN OPERATING BASE MISSION
CONTROL SYSTEMS FACILITY
BAMS FORWARD OPERATING BASE
BAMS MAINTENANCE HUB HANGAR
BAMS FORWARD OPERATING BASE
Table 10: Navy UAS MILCON ProJccts
MQ-8B VTUAV-LCS: VTUAV will leverage existing MH-60 support infrastructure as it
will also be supporting LCS requirements. Since LCS composite AvDets will normally have
the UA only when supporting an LCS, squadrons will not require ramp or hangar space in
support ofthe MQ-8B.
MQ-8B VTUAV - SOF ISR: HQU-IO, located onboard NAS North Island, CA, has been
identified as the fleet replacement squadron for VTUAV training. No new construction is
envisioned to meet VTUAV training requirements.
Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS): UCLASS air vehicle
basing and testing locations have not been selected at this time since the system is
RQ-7B Shadow and RQ-21A STUAS: VMU-l and VMU-3 are currently based at Marine
Corps Base Twenty-Nine Palms, CA. All active-duty VMU squadrons are currently housed
in existing facilities that have been modified to support VMU squadron activity. MILCON
construction contracts to support the VMU-3 move to Hawaii and the planned VMU-4 move
to Camp Pendleton are either in place or pending.
SECTION 5 -
The availability ofairspace, ranges, and other infrastructure at each
planned UAS location, and a description ofthe steps that the services plan to take to
overcome any limitations that adversely impact UAS training:
Over the past several years, UAS have become a transformational force multiplier for
DoD. The numbers and roles ofUAS have expanded dramatically to meet mission demands,
and operational commanders have come to rely upon robust and persistent ISR support from
unmanned platforms executing their core missions against hostile forces. DoD UAS require
routine NAS access in order to execute operational, training, and support missions and to
support broader military and civil demands. UAS will not achieve their full potential
military utility unless they can go where manned aircraft go with the same freedom of
navigation, responsiveness, and flexibility.
As theater forces return and the Military Departments' UAS fleets expand, DoD will
require comprehensive continuation and Joint force training in the peacetime environment.
Failure to prepare for this eventuality will result in a loss ofcombat gained experience. As
UAS have matured and acquisition programs ofrecord have emerged in all Military
Departments, a concerted effort has been made to ensure, wherever practical and possible,
that the Departments share logistics costs and burdens to include training and training
systems. Below, each Military Department describes planned UAS basing locations and any
mitigation plans for adversely impacted UAS training.
u.S. Air Force (USAF)
Each CONUS location that has plans to base MQ-l, MQ-9, or RQ-4 aircraft is listed
below with an associated assessment ofrange and airspace availability.
Beale AFB (RQ-4):
Beale AFB currently operates the CONUS-based AF fleet ofRQ-4s.
Operation from Beale is conducted under a COA issued by the FAA allowing the aircraft to
climb into Class A airspace above Flight Level (FL) 180 and transit to operational locations.
Creech AFB (MQ-l
Creech AFB is located under the restricted airspace ofthe
Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), one ofthe Air Force's largest and most capable
range complexes. Other operations from Creech are conducted under FAA-issued COAs,
primarily for MQ-l/9 flights within the Creech AFB traffic pattern in Class D airspace, and
for transits to restricted airspace in CA (R-2508) and the Utah Test and Training Range.
Holloman AFB (MQ-l & MQ-9):
An FAA COA is required to utilize runways at
Holloman AFB that are not within restricted airspace. A COA is also required to allow
MQ-l/9 access to Restricted Area R-5103 B/C southeast ofHolloman AFB in order to transit
airspace that is not restricted.
Cannon AFB (MQ-l & MQ-9): RP
As transiting from Cannon AFB to their training
location at the Melrose Range operate under an FAA COA requiring ground observers to
follow the aircraft when not in restricted airspace.
March ARBISoCal Logistics Airport (MQ-l
An FAA COA requires chase
aircraft to escort RPAs from Southern California Logistics Airport (formerly George AFB) to
the R-2S08 Complex associated with Edwards AFB, NAS China Lake, and Fort Irwin.
Fort Drum (MQ-9):
The MQ-9 RPAs associated with the Syracuse Air National Guard
(ANG) will be based at Fort Drum, NY. Fort Drum is located under the restricted airspace of
the Adirondack Range Complex. An FAA COA is required to allow MQ-9 Reaper launch
and recovery at Wheeler Sack Army Airfield in order to transit from military Class D
airspace to and from the Misty Airspace Complex and the Adirondack Air Traffic Control
Assigned Airspace (ATCAA).
Grand Forks (RQ-4, MQ-l & MQ-9):
Chase aircraft or visual observers are required by
FAA to mitigate the RPAlUAS lack ofa see/sense and avoid capability. In the case of
Southern California Logistics Airport (formerly George AFB), no restricted airspace is
available for RPAs to operate or transit to R-2S08; while at Grand Forks, an airspace
proposal has been submitted to establish restricted airspace to support UAS operations west
ofGrand Forks AFB. RPA. operations beyond the Grand Forks AFB traffic pattern are
limited until the airspace proposal is approved and charted by the FAA and a supporting
COA is developed.
Remote Split Operations (RSO) only:
MQ-1 & MQ-9 operations at Ellsworth AFB, SD,
and Whiteman AFB, MO, will not have aircraft assigned to their location.
The USAF will require additional airspace access for U AS operations. The current
NAS access does not support developmental Sense and Avoid objectives, nor will it support
projected training requirements. Without improved NAS access and improved access to
special use airspace (SUA), the capabilities ofthe USAF UAS force will stagnate or degrade,
reducing the USAF overall mission effectiveness.
As the U AS force expands and resets from overseas deployments, the demand for
airspace or airspace access will increase. Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
Commission actions and force restructuring have presented an immediate need for suitable
testing and training airspace. While the USAF maintains that exclusionary SUA must remain
an interim solution, it is not the preferred option due to the lengthy rulemaking process.
Consequently, the USAF adamantly supports exploration ofall less exclusionary alternatives
(e.g., special security instruction airspace, alert areas, terminal radar service areas, Mode C
veil over a military operations areas, Federal Aviation Regulation Part 93: Special Air Traffic
Rules and Airport Traffic Patterns) that alone or combined with current technology, provide a
means to support near-term AF test and training airspace requirements. These interim
airspace measures provide immediate improved NAS access, while USAF and FAA work
together towards viable long-term and routine sense-and-avoid solutions without undue
burden on other N AS stakeholders.
The USAF will limit requests for additional SUA to that required to support combat
readiness and only when less exclusionary airspace options are not available or practical.
The USAF is committed to maintaining the safety ofthe NAS and minimizing impact on
civil users while working towards full UAS NAS integration.
The Army has more than 1,800 UAS that are embedded in maneuver units from
Platoon through Corps echelons. Army UAS are found at nearly all Army installations. The
larger systems, Hunter and Gray Eagle, operate from Army airfields. Shadow UAS launch
and recover predominately from field sites located in the local training areas. The hand-
launched Raven requires no prepared location from which to conduct operations. For
peacetime training, all ofthese systems operate primarily inside the confines ofa military
restricted airspace in support ofground maneuver units.
Army U AS have similar operational challenges as other manned aviation platforms
such as adequate airspace to maneuver, realistic range targets and sufficient bed down
locations. U AS also have the additional limitation ofspectrum availability. Ofthese
challenges, spectrum is the most limiting and requires close coordination between all
spectrum users to ensure sufficient numbers offrequency sets are available to conduct
training. The Army has continued to modernize existing UAS data links in an effort to
become more bandwidth efficient; two examples ofthis are the Digital Data Link (DDL) for
the small UAS and the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) for Shadow and larger systems.
With both data links, modernization allows for more aircraft to operate in the same amount of
While the Army has significant numbers ofUAS deployed to combat operations, their
return at the end ofhostilities will not have a significant negative impact on training. Similar
to other Army assets (manned aviation, artillery, ground maneuver units), these units must
prioritize and deconflict their requirements for range resources.
Table 11 Locations Requiring COAs) lists the locations where the Army currently
conducts operations outside ofRestricted Areas that require a COA from the FAA. In the
majority ofthese locations, the purpose ofthe COA is to transition from the launch site to
adjacent Restricted Areas. Additionally, the Raven can be operated using DoD-FAA
agreed-to Class G airspace notification procedures for flights flown over Government-owned
or -leased land.
Fort Greeley (Allen AAF)
El Mirage/Grey Butte
Fort Richardson (Bryant AAF)
Fort Wainwright (Husky DZ)
RQ-llB Raven (Class G
RQ-llB Raven (Continued)
RQ-7B Shadow (Continued)
Fort Indiantown Gap
Yakima Training Center
Fort A.P. Hill
Table 11 LocatIOns ReqUIring COAs
Additional efforts to accommodate home station UAS training beyond the Shadow
down-range facilities include the following:
Targetry. Conventional training range targetry cannot adequately SUpp0l1 UAS
acquisition and engagement tasks as it is one-dimensional. To provide requisite targetry, the
Army has provided targets that are either physical or digital, full-scale representations ofthe
threat to installations. These targets also come with Digital Aviation Gunnery Ranges and
Aviation Add-On Packages for existing digital ranges (Riley, Yakima, and Carson Digital
Multipurpose Range Complexes). Three-dimensional targets are necessary to support target
acquisition, designation, and engagement with captive training missiles.
2. Scoring. Crew tasks must be scored to ensure the laser is on the target and
accurate in order to ensure effective Hellfire engagements. While live missiles will not be
fired from U AS platforms at home station, laser accuracy must be assessed to ensure
precision targeting capabilities.
3. Urban Terrain. Mission challenges in the contemporary environment dictate the
availability ofurban terrain on home station ranges. To provide these venues, the Army has
initiated and successfully enabled fielding ofAir-Ground Integration (A-OI) villages. These
villages provide 13 modular buildings and urban ballast on live fire ranges. A-OI villages are
on the ground at Fort Drum, Fort Bragg, Fort Stewart, Fort Riley, Fort Hood, Fort Bliss,
Pohakulua Training Area (HI) and Donnelly Training Area (AK). Further, villages will be
fielded to the Yakima and Carson Digital Multi Purpose Range Complex (DMPRC). The
Digital Air Oround Integration Range (DAOIR) includes A-OI villages. Units are currently
using these villages for manned aerial platform crew qualification and collective A-OI
4. Airspace. Thorough analysis has been conducted to evaluate available restricted
airspace at installations that support UAS platforms. The challenges can be broken down
into two basic areas.
a. Adequate area to maneuver/train for each installation. This is the length,
width, altitudes, and availability ofrestricted area airspace at the installation.
b. Adequate/established corridors from the installation's Army Airfield to its
restricted airspace. While Raven and Shadow can be supported down range, Oray
Eagle requirements dictate launch and recovery from Army Airfields with sufficient
Navy UAS operator training for Fire Scout, BAMS and UCLASS is planned to be
100-percent simulation based. Fire Scout and BAMS aircraft will generally not be used to
meet or maintain training and readiness except in early development before simulators are
delivered. Between FY 2012 and FY 2014, Fire Scout training will involve flights at
Webster Field. During underway training periods on board Navy ships, Fire Scout will
operate in overland and overwater airspace appropriately cleared for UAS operations.
Additionally, ship and Strike Group pre-deployment training will require
Fleet training areas. Navy is working within the construct ofthe DoD UAS Airspace
Integration Plan to ensure adequate airspace is available for this integrated training.
BAMS: Training for BAMS operators will be done via simulation, utilizing the same
computer-based ground stations used to control BAMS. Use ofhigh-fidelity simulation will
limit the need to operate the aircraft to only ship and Strike Oroup integration training.
Regardless ofoperating location, CONUS or OCONUS, the MQ-4C Mission Control
Station (MCS), along with its embedded Mission System Trainer (MST) only requires
electrical power and basic infrastructure to provide full functionality for operations and
training. Due to its integrated design, the MST does not require an aircraft (or any related
airspace, ranges, or flight-related logistic support) in order to provide fully representative
The Navy is actively engaged with the FAA to obtain COAs for future CONUS sites
for BAMS. The current East Coast COA utilized for BAMS-D based from NAS Patuxent
River will serve as a model for obtaining authorizations for other CONUS basing locations.
With the final approval of CONUS basing sites by Fleet Forces Command, the program
office will work with regional commanders and the FAA to obtain COAs to transit through
UCLASS: The Navy is actively developing plans for UCLASS training and basing. Due to
the immaturity ofthe program, final decisions have not yet been made.
All USMC RQ-7B UAS operators (AVOs), maintainers, and unmanned aircraft
commanders (UACs) are trained at the U.S. Army's Fort Huachuca, AZ, UAS Training
Center under an Interservice Training Agreement in place since 2007.
Marine Corps RQ-7B initial AVO training is nearly identical to the U.S. Army's
AVO curriculum and utilizes a combination ofclassroom instruction and RQ-7B simulator
activities at Ft Huachuca. This initial instruction qualifies AVOs to the Joint Basic
Unmanned Qualification (BUQ) Level 22.
USMC is reviewing a plan to send students for initial UAC training (for non-winged
aviators) through the U.S. Air Force's RPA Pilot's flight and instrument qualification courses
at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX and Pueblo, CO. The USAF RPA Pilot's
curriculum uses a combination ofclassroom instruction, flight simulation, and actual manned
aircraft flight to train future UACs. This training will qualify the UACs up to BUQ Level 4.
Almost halfofthe USMC's RQ-7B Shadow's upper level training syllabus and most
refresher training can be accomplished using RQ-7B simulators located at the VMU
squadrons. The remainder of the training is conducted using the actual systems operating in
support of USMC training events held within the FAA restricted areas that make up the
MCB 29 Palms, CA, range complex, MCB Pendleton, the Yuma, AZ range complex, the
NAS Fallon, NV range complex, and the MCB Camp Lejeune range complex.
The RQ-21A training syllabus and pipeline are currently under development by NAV AIR
and the USMC's Training and Education Command (TECOM). It is expected
that initially, RQ-21A AVOs and UACs will be drawn from the ranks ofqualified RQ-7B
Active FAA COAs allow the transit ofVMU-2 aircraft through uncontrolled airspace
from the MCAS Cherry Point class "D" surface area to the Restricted Area
from the NAS Fallon class "D" surface area to the surrounding restricted areas. A ground
based sense and avoid (GBSAA) solution is currently being evaluated by the FAA to support
CJCS 3255.01, "Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Minimum Training Standards, July 17,2009."
the 6 nm transit at Cherry Point. However, a network of 14 ground-based observers is still
required to comply with the COA while the evaluation is ongoing.
USMC is actively engaged in its support to the overall DoD-coordinated efforts to
shorten and simplify the FAA COA process in order to allow greater unmanned access to the
NAS. To support this goal, USMC is pursuing a combination oftechnical solutions, such as
a reliable GBSAA capability, and increased unmanned operator instrument flight training.
DoD UAS have become a critical component ofmilitary operations. Many DoD
UAS now require rapidly expanded access to the NAS and international civil airspace to
support operations, training, testing, and broader governmental functions. In order for
military aircraft to fly routinely in domestic and international airspace, the aircraft must be
certified as airworthy, operated by a qualified pilot/operator in the appropriate class(es) of
airspace, and comply with applicable regulatory guidance. DoD exercises sole certification
authority for its aircraft and pilots/operators, consistent with authority provided in title 10,
DoD's UAS NAS access methodology uses an incremental approach to provide DoD
UAS critical access via given operations profiles prior to implementing a full dynamic
operations solution. DoD's immediate focus is gaining near-term mission-critical access
while simultaneously working toward far-term routine NAS access. DoD's airspace
integration efforts will have positive affordability effects, such as eliminating the cost to
study, analyze and complete a COA. Progress will be accomplished through policy and
procedural changes, as well as technology and standards developments described in DoD's
UAS Airspace Integration Plan. The end state will be routine NAS access comparable to
manned aircraft for all DoD UAS operational, training, and support missions.
Additionally, the Office ofthe Deputy Assistant Secretary ofDefense for Readiness,
Directorate for Training Readiness and Strategy, is developing a comprehensive DoD UAS
training strategy. The strategy will leverage the skills and expertise ofeach organization and
build on foundational efforts already completed or being studied within the Military
Departments. The study will investigate and assess the adequacy ofexisting and forecast
joint, Military Department, and Combatant Commander UAS plans and programs that
identify and describe qualification, continuation, and joint training requirements and
CONOPS. The strategy will identify and describe individual, unit, and large force training
requirements ofall groups ofUAS. The result will be a UAS Training Roadmap that guides
UAS training shortfall and mitigation analyses, provides UAS training recommendations, and
proposes investment considerations for the U AS community. The UAS Training Roadmap
will serve as a companion piece to the "Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap" to provide
guidance for efforts related to delivering UAS capabilities to the Warfighter. Phase one of
the study will be complete in early 2012 and will serve to identify critical gaps in policy,
guidance, and training concepts ofoperation.
AAF - ARMY AIRFIELD
ACC - AIR COMBAT COMMAND
AFB - AIR FORCE BASE
AFR - AIR FORCE RESERVE
AFRC - AIR FORCE RESERVE COMPONENT
AFSC - AIR FORCE SPECIALTY CODE
AFSOC - AIR FORCE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
ANG - AIR NATIONAL GUARD
ARNG - ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
ATCAA - ADIRONDACK AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL ASSIGNED AIRSPACE
AVDET- A VIATION DETACHMENT
AVO - AIR VEHICLE OPERATOR
BAMS - BROAD AREA MARITIME SURVEILLANCE
BAMS-D - BROAD AREA MARITIME SURVEILLANCE - DEMONSTRATOR
BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE
BUQ - JOINT BASIC UNMANNED QUALIFICATION
CAP-COMBAT AIR PATROL
CCDR - COMBATANT COMMANDER
CENTCOM - CENTRAL AREA COMMAND
CLS - CONTRACT LOGISTICS SUPPORT
CMP - COMPLETE
CNS - CONSTRUCTION
COA - CERTIFICATE OF WAIVER OR AUTHORIZATION
COE - CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
CONOPS - CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
CONUS - CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES
DAGIR- DIGITAL AIR GROUND INTEGRATION RANGE
DDL - DIGITAL DATA LINK
DMPRC - DIGITAL MULTI- PURPOSE RANGE COMPLEX
DOD - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
FAA - FEDERAL A VIATION ADMINISTRATION
FMS -FOREIGN MILITARY SALES
FOB - FOREIGN OPERATING BASE
FOC - FULL OPERATIONS CAPABILITY
FRTP - FLEET RESPONSE TRAINING PROGRAM
FTU - FLIGHT TRAINING UNIT
FY - FISCAL YEAR
GBSAA - GROUND BASED SENSE AND AVOID
HIS - HISTORICAL
HQ - HEADQUARTERS
ISR - INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND RECONNAISSANCE
LCS - LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP
LRE - LAUNCH AND RECOVERY ELEMENT
MCAGCC - MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER
MCALF - MARINE CORPS AUXILLIARY LANDING FIELD
MCAS - MARINE CORPS AIR STATION
MCB - MARINE CORPS BASE
MILCON - MILITARY CONSTRUCTION
MOB - MAIN OPERATING BASE
MOS - MILITARY OCCUPATION SPECIALTIES
MRMUAS - MEDIUM- RANGE MARITIME UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM
MST - MISSION SYSTEM TRAINER
MTOE - UNIT MODIFIED TABLE OF ORGANIZATIONAL EQUIPMENT
NALF - NAVY AUXILLIARY LANDING FIELD
NAS - IN GEOGRAPHICAL REFERENCE: NAVAL AIR STATION
NAS - IN AIRSPACE REFERENCE: NATIONAL AIRSPACE
NAWS - NAV AL AIR WEAPONS STATION
NOLF - NAVAL OUTLYING FIELD
NS - NAVAL STATION
NTTR - NEVADA TEST AND TRAINING RANGE
PACAF - PACIFIC AIR FORCE
PACOM - PACIFIC COMMAND
POM - PROGRAM OBECTIVE MEMORANDUM
RPA - REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT
SATCOM - SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
SCLA - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOGISTICS AIRFIELD
SO - SENSOR OPERATOR
SOF - SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES
SOS - SPECIAL OPERAIONTS SQUADRON
SPT - SUPPORT
SQFT - SQUARE FOOT
SSTC - SILVER STRAND TRAINING COMPLEX
STUAS - SMALL TACTICAL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM
SUA - SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE
TABLE OF ORGANIZATION
TCDL - TACTICAL COMMON DATA LINK
TECOM - TRAINING AND EDUCATION COMMAND
TSRA - TRAINING SYSTEMS REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS
UAC - UNMANNED AIRCRAFT COMMANDER
UAS - UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
UCAS - UNMANNED COMBAT AIR SYSTEM
UCLASS - UNMANNED CARRIER LAUNCHED AIRBORNE
SURVEILLANCE AND STRIKE
USAF - UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
UDET - UNMANNED DETACHMENT
URT - UNMANNED RPA TRAINING
USA - UNITED STATES ARMY
USAF - UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
USAFE - UNITED STATES AIR FORCE EUROPE
USMC - UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
USN - UNITED STATES NAVY
USSOCOM - UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPS COMMAND
VMU - VEHICLE MAINTENANCE UNIT
VTUAV - VERTICAL TACTICAL UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE
WSMR - WHITE SAND MISSILE RANGE COMPLEX
put here for your consideration by a female Faust on this Tuesday, June 19, 2012