US armed forces introduce counter drone training in the Middle East

The US Armed Forces are countering adversary unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the US Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations with a rapidly evolving set of tools and training, according to the armed forces media.

Task Force Phoenix—a combat aviation brigade responsible for full-spectrum aviation operations for Operation Spartan Shield (OSS) and Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR)—has a dedicated Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) cell that is assisting in the counter-UAS (C-UAS) fight. The Task Force Phoenix CEMA cell is based at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

In response to recent UAS attacks on coalition bases in Iraq and Syria, the Task Force Phoenix CEMA cell performed battlefield assessments and identified gaps in C-UAS training. The team then reached out to the Yuma Counter-UAS Training Academy and US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) to get the latest C-UAS training packages being used stateside.

“After reviewing that information, we identified that there was a huge training gap in the information due to the unique operating environment and the different theater-provided equipment throughout our area of responsibility,” Montgomery said. “Utilizing the curriculum that was provided, reaching out to the manufacturers to get information and reengaging with operators up north, our team was able to develop a complete training package that encompasses the ‘crawl, walk, run’ learning matrix. Our team developed material and acquired equipment so that the learning progressed from PowerPoint presentation (crawl), to the SPECTRE virtual reality simulation training (walk), finishing up with hands-on, ground-based and handheld systems (run). Our team truly feels this course is the most comprehensive, real-time and relevant training platform for C-UAS theater operators, planners and NCOIC/OIC’s (Noncommissioned Officers-In-Charge/Officers-In-Charge).”

On the heels of their recent success teaching an Electronic Warfare Operations/Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Warfare system course at Camp Buehring, the CEMA cell teamed up again with the US Army Central Command Readiness Training Center (ARTC) to put together the comprehensive course that will be taught regularly to C-UAS operators in theater. The five-day C-UAS course is intended to give participants a better understanding of the emerging UAS threat and training on the systems that defeat that threat.

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