Three cadets received recognition for successful completion of requirements to earn Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Drone Wings from Admiral Farragut Academy.
CDR Rick Schock, Senior Naval Science Instructor, presented the first three wing pins to the following officers of the Drone/Robotics club during formation recently:
- Senior Harold Zhang, President (China)
- Senior Luke Matsuyoshi, Chief Pilot Instructor (Japan)
- Freshman Robert Heiss, Treasurer (United States of America)
In addition to achieving the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class, each cadet completed 10 computer-based drone flight simulation challenges, 10 missions as a Visual Observer, and 10 drone missions as the Remote Pilot in Command.
The Drone/Robotics program, in its second year at AFA, began as school administration noted the increased popularity of drones not only as a hobby but also in civilian and military career applications. The extracurricular Drone Club has more than 40 members with 15 actively seeking their Drone Wings. In addition to being a program affiliated with the school’s STEM courses of instruction, it is also associated with the AFA Aviation Department through which students can complete a sUAS course for the Federal Aviation Administration’s sUAS certification.
Since the program began, students have flown more than 75 missions to document military parades and athletic events, conducted building surveys of campus rooftops following Hurricane Irma, provided footage for marketing, gathered time-lapse video of new construction on campus, and surveyed red tide effects at the waterfront on Boca Ciega Bay.