A report from the American Homefront Project reveals the fact that the US Department of Defense (DoD) will open a new ‘Counter small UAS university’ at Fort Sill, OK, on 16 October, focused on improving training for US troops to deal with one of the fastest emerging threats the military faces – small weaponised drones.
Events in Ukraine have highlighted the imperative and the urgency for such training to be provided – it remains to be seen whether use of the facility might be extended to state and local law enforcement or other pertinent security agencies. Currently, the forecast is for around 1,000 troops to be schooled per year.
US Army Future Command certainly perceives the urgency, with commander Gen James Rainey stating that a five year wait for the “perfect system” is simply unacceptable. The extent of proliferation – especially when it comes to the scale and speed of disruption that small drones can cause on the battlefield and beyond – is driving the pace of change and causing militaries everywhere to ‘drop a gear’ and accelerate the development, fielding and efficient operation of effective countermeasures.
Three principal lines of instruction will be featured at the new school:
- For C-UAS system operators, with differential teaching to cater for the needs of the individual services;
- For planners, seeking to educate the best methods for siting sensors and effectors;
- For those responsible for protection of fixed locations, to protect current US military bases.
One warning bears careful attention, though: the speed of proliferation and the agility of hostile drone operators in adapting to current-generation countermeasures means the school will have to remain vigilant, agile and flexible, ready to adapt or radically overhaul the curriculum at very short notice.
(Image: A security officer using a Flex Force Dronebuster C-UAS system during a simulation exercise at a US Navy facility in Maryland earlier this year. Credit: Griffin Kersting via American Homefront Project)