Marine Corps and Navy Aviation fly together for unmanned team

An AH-1Z Viper (top) with Marine Operational Evaluation and Test Squadron 1 (VMX-1) and an MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 (HSC-23), conduct strike coordination and reconnaissance training near El Centro, Calif., March 10. US MARINE CORPS / Lance Cpl. Jade Venegas

Washin Centro, Calif., March 10, Marine Corps Headquarters announced March 15.

During the exercise, UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopters from VMX-1 conducted attacks while Marines and sailors operating in the ground control station assisted in target detection and coordinating strikes using an MQ-8C Fire Scout.

“This opportunity promotes greater familiarization and development of the manned-unmanned team concept that builds confidence and effectiveness across the Blue-Green team,” said VMX-1 Commander Col. Byron Sullivan. “Our partnership is integral to the command and [Chief of Naval Operation]The vision to embrace the future of warfare and make it our advantage on the battlefield.

The services continue to develop manned and unmanned tactics to better align with the National Defense Strategy 2018 and commander’s planning guidance. As the exercise at El Centro progressed, the Navy-Marine Corps team became more proficient in planning, communicating, and coordinating effective fires from manned and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft. The proliferation of unmanned rotary wing platforms on US Navy vessels makes integration with the Navy rotary wing and MQ-8C a likelihood in the littoral environment.

“Adversaries are going to be faced with a dilemma as we bolster our naval expeditionary force by leveraging unmanned systems to complement our rotary wing,” said Major Ben Henry, VMX-1 science and technology manager. .

VMX-1’s mission is to conduct operational testing and evaluation of Marine Corps aviation platforms and systems.


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