In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the Predator system is being used to assist the ground commander in a number of missions. One of the most visible is its use in the hunting and targeting of high value targets (HVT). The Predator gives the commander a persistent long loiter capability in order to keep suspected HVT hide-sites under constant surveillance. Such coverage assists the ground commander in planning their attack. Avenues of approach and terrain can be evaluated and studied right up until the time of the attack without tipping off the enemy that they are under surveillance.Ryan Manelick was killed in a drive-by shooting shortly after leaving Camp Anaconda on Route 1, the transit route to Baghdad.
Our [USAF security forces] troops are currently using the Desert Hawk’s electro-optical and infrared sensors to provide them “eyes” outside the fence line around bases in the [Area of Responsibility]. This extended look is helping us leverage air base ground defense assets in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Testimony of Lieutenant General Walter E. Bucanan III
Commander, United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Air Forces
Commander, Ninth Air Force
Before the House Armed Services Committee
United States House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
U.S. Drones Crowding the Skies to Fight Insurgents in Iraq
By Eric Schmitt, New York Times, April 5, 2005