SURVICE Heroes:  Shawn Nelson

Service Then

Shawn Nelson began his Army career as a UH-60A Blackhawk helicopter repairer, Private First Class, and flew his first combat mission as a Crew Chief during Operation Just Cause, where he earned his first Air Medal. He supported operations in Central America, Germany, Cyprus, Savanna Georgia, Thailand, and Venezuela.

Upon completing flight school at Fort Rucker, AL, he piloted the TH-67, OH-58A/C, and UH-60L and deployed to support the Stabilization Force 11 in Bosnia, where he flew Blackhawk air assault operations as Pilot-in-Command.

Nelson’s most satisfying mission was with MEDEVAC, where he served in Iraq as an UH-60L Instructor Pilot (IP). As part of the 54th MEDEVAC Company, he transported over 360 soldiers, civilians, and prisoners, earning him another Air Medal and seven more combat patches.

Asked directly by U.S. Department of the Army headquarters, CW3 Nelson became one of seven MQ-1 Warrior-A UAS Warrant Officer IPs Army wide. As a standardization and maintenance pilot, he supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, providing reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition support to joint service/forces operations. He wrote the Army’s MQ-1 Aircrew Training Manual and retired as the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Battalion, Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Standardization Officer.

Army Active Duty Service

1989
Entered service

1989-1994
Panama/Just Cause

1994-1997
Germany/Cyprus

1999-2000
Fort Rucker, AL /Flight school

2000-2003
Hawaii/Bosnia

2003-2005
Germany/Iraq OIF

2007-2008
Fort Huachuca, AZ/Afghanistan OEF

Retired 2011

SURVICE Now

Shawn is a program manager with SURVICE Engineering, where he has worked a maintenance modernization project for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. He is currently working on a counter-UAS program for the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Shawn Nelson
Tenure at SURVICE
1 year 8 months ago
SURVICE Title
Project Manager CUAS Systems
Operations/Locations
Military Title
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Battalion (UASTB) medium altitude UAS Standardization Officer