Pentagon Approves Use of Force Against Drones Over US Bases

Geneva Matthews
August 9, 2017

The increased use of commercial and privately owned small unmanned aircraft systems has raised Defense Department (DoD) concerns for the safety and security of its installations, its aviation and its people, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters Monday, Aug. 7.

The military can track, disable and destroy UAS in accordance with new authority granted in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and subsequent Defense Department policy.

"Protecting our force remains a top priority, and that's why DoD issued the specific, but classified policy developed with the Federal Aviation Administration and our interagency partners that details how DoD personnel may counter the unmanned aircraft threat", Navy Captain Jeff Davis said.

Yet on Monday, the Pentagon gave 130 military bases across the country the green light to shoot down private and commercial drones.

The classified guidance was first issued back in July by Defense Secretary Bob Work and the updated guide lines were then issued to domestic USA military installations on Friday. "The FAA is in the process of coordinating with these agencies as the legislation requires".

It became illegal to fly personal drones within 400ft (122m) of the US's 133 military facilities in April. The armed forces also fear they could be used to spy on the US too.

The Pentagon has worked closely with the Dept. of Homeland Security on these measures and allows the military the options of using conventional weapons to shoot down a drone or other countermeasures include non-kinetic methods like the use of radio waves to disrupt drone flight. That announcement didn't say anything about the military reserving the right to obliterate or intercept drones, however. Commercial drones, meanwhile, are expected to grow tenfold during that same period to 442,000 in 2021, according to the report.

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