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Frontiers June 2013 Issue

missions such as border control, coastal monitoring, anti-sniper efforts, search and rescue, disaster relief and other missions that might be monotonous or dangerous for human pilots. Keeping warfighters safer and helping others with the ScanEagle means a lot to all those who work at Insitu, according to Sam Trevino, one of the company’s unmanned aircraft flight instructors. “It means a whole bunch, almost as much as it did when I was in the Army,” Trevino said. “Now I’m the guy who supports warfighters with information, so that when they run through a door in the field, they know what to expect.” In 2009, Trevino took part in a mission to rescue a U.S. cargo ship captain being held hostage by Somali pirates near the Horn of Africa. He was one of several ScanEagle pilots on board a U.S. destroyer that launched one of the unmanned systems to provide video surveillance of the small pirate vessel where the captain was being held. The pirates never knew ScanEagle was watching them high overhead. As a result of the unmanned system providing real-time video intelligence as the hostage situation played out over several days, a U.S. Navy Seal team was able to save the captain. The critical role played by ScanEagle in that successful rescue mission was extensively reported by the media. “It was awesome to have the spotlight on the product for that,” said Taylor Schwartz, integrated product team lead for the ScanEagle’s ground control station. “Sometimes you get so involved with your work here, you forget what the products are doing and how they’re helping in the field.” – Diane Stratman The ScanEagle used in the 2009 mission to rescue the U.S. cargo ship captain from pirates has been donated to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where it will be put on display. PHOTOS: (Clockwise from far left) A ScanEagle is launched from a pneumatic catapult from the USS Comstock; the unmanned craft in flight during launch and recovery exercises. U.S. NAVY A close-up of a ScanEagle used by the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. U.S. MARINE CORPS BOEING FRONTIERS / JUNE 2013 27


Frontiers June 2013 Issue
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