Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Weinert
On March 31, 2010, Navy Lt. Miroslav "Steven" Zilberman was co-piloting an E-2C Hawkeye that went down in the Middle East.
The four crew members were en route to the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower in the North Arabian Sea after flying a mission in Afghanistan. Along the way, one of the plane’s engines lost oil pressure, leading to it’s failure. Afterwards, one of the propellers couldn't be adjusted to balance the plane, and Zilberman realized there was no way to safely land the aircraft.
Zilberman instructed his co-pilot and the other two crew members to bail out. He manually held the plane steady so they could escape, but he was unable to follow. The plane then crashed into the water.
After three days, the Navy called off search and rescue efforts for the missing Zilberman, and the Department of Defense declared him deceased.
For his heroism, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross — the highest award that can be awarded to an aviator for valorous actions — in addition to the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Air Medal.
Nearly 250 sailors, officers, aviators, family members, and friends attended Zilberman’s funeral at the chapel aboard Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
"Without his courageous actions, the entire crew would have perished," according to a citation written by Adm. Gary Roughead, then-chief of naval operations.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Zilberman’s family migrated to the United States when he was in middle school. After graduating high school in 1997 in Columbus, Ohio, he enlisted in the Navy.
After serving two years, he was selected for the Seaman to Admiral program, and completed college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
As a pilot, he was assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121, stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.
Zilberman is survived by his parents, his wife Katrina, and their two children.
"Lt. Zilberman was an exceptional Naval Officer and pilot who embodied the best of what America represents," said then-captain Roy Kelley, who commanded Carrier Air Wing 7 at the time, according to a Navy release.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.