Pilot discusses Predator experiences Sept. 28

Pilot discusses Predator experiences Sept. 28

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matt J. Martin will discuss his experiences piloting the unmanned Predator aircraft on Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Lt. Col. Matt J. Martin, a U.S. Air Force officer and Predator pilot, is shown with a USAF plane nicknamed "€œRuby."€ (photo submitted)

The 7:30 p.m. event in Room S102 is open to the public and campus community, said Kyle Snyder, director of MTSU’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. Students in the University’s aerospace and military science departments are expected to be among those in attendance.

“Lt. Col. Martin’s first-person accounts of his combat time with Predator and its associated technologies for surveillance and targeting have been published in Predator: The Remote-Control Air War Over Afghanistan,” Snyder said.

Snyder added that Martin will talk about his training as a new UAS pilot and the capabilities of Predator and will offer a first-person perspective of a UAS pilot flying combat scenarios in Afghanistan from a control station in Las Vegas, among other topics.

“It should be an enlightening talk,” Snyder said.

Martin is a career U.S. Air Force officer and Predator pilot. During his years in the Predator program, he flew hundreds of missions and supervised thousands more. Originally from Indiana, he now lives with his wife, Trish, in the southwestern United States.

MTSU unveiled a one-of-a-kind partnership with the U.S. Army in August to turn university-level research and development into technology applicable to UAS. As part of the exchange, the Army pledged to support MTSU’s UAS educational and research efforts; the University is to receive three hand-launched, remote-controlled AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven aircraft and two control stations from the Army later this fall.

— Randy Weiler (