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Highlight Video: 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

Entered service

Panama/Just Cause


Fort Rucker, AL /Flight school


Germany/Iraq OIF

Fort Huachuca, AZ/Afghanistan OEF

Retired 2011


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.

Military Branch:
U.S. Army
Project Manager CUAS Systems
Military Title:
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Battalion (UASTB) medium altitude UAS Standardization Officer
SURVICE Employee Since:
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