This year’s Exercise PATRIOT 21 training session got a crucial digital boost from Dragonfly, a flying cell tower that is a joint venture between Spooky Action Inc. and Wisconsin Telelift Inc (WiscLift). The drones provided a quick and effective connection for National Guard members, reports UAS Weekly. The resulting Dragonfly unit combines a sturdy version of Spooky Action’s Telelift UAV with an integrated system devised by WiscLift to enable communications between command and control vehicles.
Touting the success of Dragonfly, Spooky Action CEO, Rahul Tiwari, said, “We are excited to support Wisclift and the Air Force in their effort to provide rapid-deployable communications to US and Allied armed forces. The fact that Dragonfly was able to provide immediate connectivity in an operational deadzone is a testament to the success of the operation and the working relationships that Exercise PATRIOT fosters.”
Typically an annual event, the goal PATRIOT 21 was to provide disaster response teams with the opportunity to test and hone the skills that could save lives in the wake of an actual disaster. “It’s been more than a year that we’ve been in a pandemic, and we’ve also had civil disturbance and natural disasters along the way, and we’ve been in response mode,” said Lt. Col. Roger Brooks IV, PATRIOT 21 director. “But we’re getting back to the business of training for those situations now. It’s all about training with our local civilian agencies and partners and improving our communication and ability to work seamlessly with different entities.”
WiscLift founder Scott “LB” Williams said, “These exercises prove and optimize the ability of the National Guard to respond alongside state and local emergency responders, while successfully partnering with industry.” WiscLift credits itself with the local manufacture, service, and installment of the Spooky Action’s Telelift System.