Unit Begins Using Unmanned Drones in Afghanistan
Estcoy-11, the Estonian infantry company in Afghanistan, started using unmanned Raven aerial vehicles this week.
"The aim of these UAVs is to get an overview of the areas where we conduct patrols and operations," said Estcoy-11 commander Maj. Ranno Raudsik. "We also get nighttime and daytime information from areas where we are not constantly based."
The Raven is a tactical reconnaissance aircraft for use mainly for reinforcing operations for companies and higher units.
Estonian NCOs attended unmanned aerial vehicle operator training last October in the US. Estcoy-11 received one set of drones, consisting of three unmanned Raven aerial vehicles.
The drone purchase and testing project was launched in Estonia in 2003. The first Estonian unit to use Ravens was the Estcoy-E, which provided election security along with the US Marines in 2009.