FORT POLK -- “War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.”
These words were written by Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian military analyst, in his book “Vom Kriege,” or “On War.”
In the book Clausewitz speaks of the fog of war, which is described as the uncertainty that military units face in regard to their own and the enemy’s capability during a military operation.
Patriot Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, had an extra set of eyes to help them lift the fog of war during the Mountain Peak exercise held Feb. 26 through March 14 at Peason Ridge near Fort Polk. By implementing the Raven system with ground forces during the exercise, Soldiers were able to track enemy movements on the battlefield.
“The RQ-11B Raven Small Unmanned Aircraft System is a company-level asset designed to give company commanders the ability to observe forward areas that are beyond visual range of Soldiers on the ground,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brandon Edgar. “It can be used for reconnaissance, route clearance, patrol over-watch or area security. A company commander can use the Raven to have an extra set of eyes in the air and can cover operations in and around his area.”
The Mountain Peak exercise gave Patriot Raven operators a chance to train and familiarize themselves with the system. “During the month of February, 3/10 trained 40 new Raven operators,” said Edgar. “Mountain Peak gave those new operators the opportunity to use those new skills in a tactical environment.”
The opposing forces, or OPFOR, said the Raven system had a huge impact on the operational capability. “During the Mountain Peak After Action Review, OPFOR leadership listed 3/10 Raven operations as a leading cause that prevented their freedom of movement,” said Edgar. “The Raven system severely restricted their ability to operate in our battlespace.”
While the Patriots and Ravens football teams may never team up together in the NFL, combining the two in the Army clears the fog of war, making Patriot Brigade Soldiers more lethal and effective on the battlefield.