Expedition (n): an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose; efficient promptness or speed in accomplishing something.
Listed above is the definition of “Expedition” you can find in almost any common dictionary. For some however, being expeditionary may be defined as the ability to swiftly discover and fix damage to an oil pipeline. For others, it means being the first on the scene of a natural disaster, such as a flood or a wildfire.
In my experience as a career military officer, being expeditionary means possessing the capability to rapidly deploy assets worldwide by air, sea or land to fight and win our nation’s wars. While serving in various armored, light infantry and airborne units in the Army, I grew to understand the importance of being expeditionary – in a military sense. As my service spanned several decades, I experienced a transformation from an Army that sluggishly deployed to peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, to a highly expeditionary force capable of rapid and lethal global force projection. That expeditionary capability continues to be a vital aspect of successful missions, not only in the military context, but also for civil and commercial operations.
Regardless of your organization’s purpose or mission; whether it’s protecting our environment, wildlife, or human lives, being “expeditionary” in today’s complex world is more critical now than ever.
In the civil/commercial world and particularly with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), being expeditionary makes fiscal as well as operational sense. It means that we must do more, faster, and in more diverse environments – with fewer resources. We must reduce the cost, training time, and personnel required to operate and sustain unmanned systems globally. Insitu’s ScanEagle, Integrator and RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft and Insitu’s Common Open-mission Management Command and Control (ICOMC2) Ground Control Station (GCS), for example, are some of the most proven expeditionary systems in the world. These systems don’t require runways or bulky net-retrieval systems to launch or recover. One operator can easily and effectively control multiple air and ground unmanned vehicles simultaneously. They require less personnel and lower cost to operate and sustain because Insitu realized early, that being light, agile and expeditionary matters to its customers. .
One of the world’s most expeditionary forces, the U.S. Marine Corps, committed to being expeditionary hundreds of years ago. They continue to follow through with that commitment today by adhering to their RQ-21A Blackjack Program of Record. Organizations like the U.S. Army are increasingly asking for more expeditionary UAS solutions – from runway independence and the ability to rapidly deploy, to reduced manning requirements through universal training and operations. For these needs, expeditionary UAS pioneers like Insitu stand poised and prepared to provide these unique, cost-effective and necessary solutions to the military, civil and commercial customers who demand them.
The short and long-term benefits of runway independence, increased agility, reduced sustainment cost due to smaller operational and logistical footprints are many. By committing to being expeditionary, you are committing to operational, strategic and fiscal success – on the pipeline, railways, over forest fires and while deployed as a combat force to be reckoned with around the world. Our customers deserve the most capable, deployable and cost-effective UAS in this very complex world and our innovative solutions are here to meet that need—wherever it arises.