U.S. and allied combat operations continue to highlight the value of unmanned systems in the modern combat environment. Combatant Commanders (CCDRs) and warfighters value the inherent features of unmanned systems, especially their persistence, versatility, and reduced risk to human life. The U.S. military Services are fielding these systems in rapidly increasing numbers across all domains: air, ground, and maritime. Unmanned systems provide diverse capabilities to the joint commander to conduct operations across the range of military operations: environmental sensing and battlespace awareness; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection; counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) capabilities; port security; precision targeting; and precision strike. Furthermore, the capabilities provided by these unmanned systems continue to expand.
Most of the public discussion surrounding the use of drones both internationally and domestically has focused on issues of privacy or civilian casualties. Due to the technical complexity of drone operations, there has been little media examination of the practical feasibility of widespread domestic drone deployment. In February, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012 was signed into law clearing the way for more than 30,000 domestic drones by 2020. The law requires the FAA to create procedures for commercially-operated drones by 2015 and enables law enforcement agencies to operate small-scale drones at low altitudes. While this has a number of negative implications for the right to privacy, such as the lack of any laws governing the usage of data collected via drones, the thought of a future where U.S. skies are filled with an array of drones has a much larger, more practical problem: is it even logistically possible to operate thousands of pilot-less aircraft in the domestic airspace?
(U//FOUO) U.S. Air Force Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) Airpower Lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan
“Enduring Airpower Lessons from Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF)” is one of three lessons learned (L2) focus areas directed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) at CORONA Top 2008. This report is the third and last in a series of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) L2 reports produced for fiscal year 2009 and focuses on Small UAS (SUAS) capabilities and issues.
Several reports from the Department of Defense’s Joint Spectrum Center were originally published in April 2010 by a small blog called DoD Leaks. The blog published less than a dozen documents over a two month span and then ceased all activity. The blog’s description states that it was created in response to Cryptome’s call for more publication of “for official use only” documents that are available in the public sphere. These documents relate to frequency allocation and electromagnetic interference tests conducted in relation to datalinks used by Predator drones.
(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV) Airspace Command and Control (A2C2) Handbook
The purpose of this handbook is to enhance understanding of Army airspace command and control (A2C2) to mitigate risks between small unit unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs) and rotary wing operations below the coordinating altitude. This handbook provides leaders at the brigade and below with guidelines in the form of airspace coordination techniques and procedures regarding SUAV mission planning and airspace deconfliction.
These principles do not forbid the use of stealth or technologically advanced weapons. In fact, the use of advanced weapons may help to ensure that the best intelligence is available for planning and carrying out operations, and that the risk of civilian casualties can be minimized or avoided altogether. Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.
The Shadow TUAS extends the ARS Commander’s ability to support the full spectrum of conflict through reconnaissance, security, aerial surveillance, communications relay, and laser designation.
The following interactive map was compiled from information reported by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism. It displays the names and locations of airfields/bases inside of Pakistan that have been or are currently being used by U.S. forces. Some of the…
U.S. Air Force presentation detailing human interface systems for drone ground control stations from May 2010.
To inform Deputy Commandants (DCs) Aviation, Combat Development and Integration (CD&I), Plans, Policies, and Operations (PP&O), Installations and Logistics (I&L), Commanding General (CG), Training and Education Command (TECOM), Director of Intelligence, operating forces, and others on results of a Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned (MCCLL) collection conducted April – May 2011 to document lessons and observations regarding unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations in support of Regional Command Southwest (RC (SW)) during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
RPAs are revolutionary surveillance and weapons delivery systems – changing the way the Air Force builds situation awareness and engages enemy forces – but their full potential has yet to be realized. To begin to address this issue, the Air Force initiated this study to review the state-of-the-art in RPA operations, focusing on control and connectivity in an irregular warfare (IW) environment. The Panel was specifically tasked to identify RPA architectures and operational concepts centered on human-systems integration, distributed systems operations, and effective command and control – a cluster of concepts and technologies we subsequently labeled as “mission management” enablers. The Panel was also tasked to recommend mid- to far-term S&T development roadmaps for advancing these technologies to improve the flexibility and capability of RPA operations.
United States Army Europe Regulation 95-23 “Unmanned Aircraft System Flight Regulations” from September 2009.
This FOUO pocket guide provides information used by battle staffs involved in planning, coordinating, synchronizing or executing actions that support the effective employment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on the battlefield. Covers the MQ-1B PREDATOR, MQ-1 WARRIOR A, MQ-1C ER/MP, MQ-9 REAPER, MQ-5B HUNTER, RQ-7B SHADOW.
These photos were taken in March 2010 at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. See also: What Happens When You Protest a Weapons Factory https://publicintelligence.net/what-happens-when-you-protest-a-weapons-factory/
This situation report is developed for DHS senior leadership. The report provides overall situational awareness on Federal remote sensing activities supporting emergency management operations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The following information is derived from multiple sources across the Federal remote sensing community. The report will be updated as new information becomes available.
Provides Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), operations, maintenance, technical support, pilots, and sensor operators to surveil the Southwest border of the United States. Over the next several years UAV border surveillance will improve sensor/video surveillance capabilities of the current, monitored base system through persistent 24 hours per day / 7 days per week surveillance; integrate new surveillance technologies (aerial sensor suites), and increase interoperability with other law enforcement agencies and initiatives.