The collaboration between General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) resulted in the completion of flight training for Marines on October 29, 2023. Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) delivered the seven-week course about the MQ-9A Block 5 Unmanned Aircraft System operation at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. The pupils engaged in Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 1-24, an all-encompassing programme tailored for enlisted aircrew and selected pilots that cover the strategic development and execution of cutting-edge air and ground tactics for the Marine Corps.
Recognised as an advanced programme at the graduate level, WTI was instrumental in developing and implementing aviation weapons and tactics over land and sea by providing standardised, advanced tactical training. The Marines underwent training using an MQ-9A provided by GA-ASI. The WTI graduates are regarded as authorities in their squadrons regarding using MQ-9A Block 5.
The training is an essential component of the Medium-Altitude, High-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Expeditionary (MUX) programme of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) to achieve Full Operational Capability (FOC). GA-ASI is an essential associate in assisting the US Marine in reaching this programme milestone.
The MQ-9A unmanned aerial system (UAS) is widely recognised for its fault-tolerant flight control system and triple-redundant avionics system architecture. Compared to numerous piloted aircraft, it exemplifies the industry’s most stringent requirements for dependability and performance.
The USMC has thus far received nine MQ-9A UAS from GA-ASI. Four of these MQ-9A aircraft are presently involved in operational missions, where they crucially support mission-critical Marine Corps objectives. The USMC awaits eleven additional aircraft to reach its target of three squadrons by 2025.