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A second set of eyes

A second set of eyes

Story by MAJ Paul Oliver on 02/27/2019

FORT HOOD, Texas Whether you’re in the fog of war or conducting tough and realistic training operations a second set of eyes is critical to the modern day Warfighter and 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.

Soldiers and officers in the brigade have been receiving training on the Army’s One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT). The terminal can assist both combat aviators and ground commanders in enhancing essential missions such as reconnaissance, target acquisition, and surveillance on the battlefield and during home station training.

OSRVT training in the 1ACB gives the unit an upper hand to support the 1st Cavalry Division by delivering enhanced situational awareness to all levels of unit leadership which makes both ground and air units a more lethal force that is ready to defeat any enemy.

For new Soldiers in the Army, the OSRVT meant getting hands-on training with new equipment.

“This training helps flight operations track and see what the aircraft is maneuvering around,” said Private Elizabeth Cruz, Headquarters, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. What the Los Angeles native found most interesting is how the OSRVT system could be used in a time of combat.

“We can capture images and zoom in and then send information directly to our pilots,” Cruz said. The benefit here with the OSRVT is getting real-time information and distributing it to leadership to help assist with difficult decision often faced in combat or high-intensity training environments. “We are indeed a second set of eyes in the sky for our commanders,” she said.

One of the most important lessons learned in this training is to view and see the obstacles that the pilots may face before the mission takes place. “By viewing the obstacles and terrain ahead of time it provides more awareness to the situation,” Cruz said.

1st Lt. Seth Lamp, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, also received the latest hands-on training with the OSRVT system. Lamp, an intelligence officer from Canton, Ohio, talks about how this system is able to work “manned or unmanned aircraft” to keep the ground force commander safe and to detect the enemy across the battlefield.

“We help paint a better picture of the enemy situation and position,” he said.

This was Lamp’s first formal training into the capabilities the OSRVT system can provide the brigade. “I can expect to use this system in Combined Arms Centers for training,” he said. For Lamp, the most valuable lesson learned in this training is the broad capabilities this system brings to our unit. “It was an eye-opening event,” he commented.

While this training was new and eye-opening, it provides much more to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade because the OSRVT can be deployed down to the company levels of the organization which means it helps with readiness and the ability to fight tonight. The OSRVT will help the unit in the future with its features which include an ability to receive digital video and overlay telemetry data onto moving maps for enhanced geo-spatial situational awareness.

One of the latest features of the system allows Soldiers to control the camera sensor onboard the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for faster target acquisition. Given all the dynamic and latest technology features the system can provide to 1ACB, it will no doubt become a valued element to the modern day Warfighter when paired with Army aviation assets.

“The OSRVT gives the commander and staff a higher situation awareness of the battlefield. This is accomplished by allowing them to make decisions based on what the aircraft is observing without the need for relaying information through traditional methods. Whether it is acquiring the feed from a manned or unmanned aircraft, the OSRVT gives the staff the capability to observe in real time full motion video. This capability allows the commander and staff to confirm or deny an enemy course of action,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rafael Rijos, a targeting officer, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.

When the OSRVT is used during operations, it gives the operator the ability to confirm or deny information on established named area of interest that was planned by the intelligence and fires section during military decisions. The OSRVT provides full motion video to the staff, significantly reducing intelligence gaps. This system provides the staff with a significant amount of information that can translate into decisions. The OSRVT, when combined with either manned or unmanned aircraft, can provide the brigade the ability to acquire targets beyond traditional acquisition systems.

For decades, commanders relied on flyover for situation awareness, but by the time the intelligence got to the staff, most of the information had lost its value.

Thanks to technological advances, sensors no longer need to conduct flyovers to provide intelligence information to the staff. The OSRVT is a product of these technological advantages and when properly used, it can confirm the presence of the adversary before they can employ their systems, allowing staff to plan accordingly.

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