Accession Number:



The First Step: Building a Special Operations Aviation Specific Unmanned Aircraft System Capability

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

Corporate Author:

US Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The Army began the testing and development of the unmanned aircraft system UAS capability in 1953. Since that point, the UAS has grown exponentially and proven itself as an essential capability on the battlefield in every major conflict since Desert Storm. In 2013, the United States Army Special Operations Command USASOC began to employ the first and only Special Operations Aviation SOA MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS unit in the Army. The Army Special Operations Aviation ARSOA Gray Eagle unit is organized, trained, and equipped in an almost identical fashion as the conventional force CF Gray Eagle units. Conversely, the rotary wing units within ARSOA are organized, trained, and equipped in a very different manner than the CF rotary wing units. The purpose of this study is to illustrate that capability gaps exist in the domains of organization, training, and equipping of the ARSOA Gray Eagle unit. A comparative analysis of ARSOA rotary wing units in relation to CF rotary wings is used to identify these capability gaps. The study then uses a modified doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, policy DOTMLPF-P analysis and a capabilities-based assessment CBA to identify potential materiel and non-materiel solutions.


Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]