I pushed out this article for Public Affairs and felt that I should share it with my readers so here it is!
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
By Cpt. Caleb Lin, 8th TSC Antiterrorism Force Protection August 22, 2016
This week’s focus for Antiterrorism month is the threat of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
Terrorist asymmetrical warfare capabilities evolve in direct correlation with innovations in technology. Drone use has been a United States capability for superiority on the battlefield through the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, however terrorists are beginning to adapt its uses on the battlefield as well through commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products.
Although terrorists have not acquired the same drone capabilities as the U.S., they are able to use drones acquired through commercial manufacturers to conduct surveillance during target identification.
The U.S. Army War College conducted scenario analysis across the three spectrums of warfare: tactical, operational and strategic; disclosing their findings in their Terrorist and Insurgent Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Use, Potentials, and Military Implications, a report by Robert J. Bunker.
In short, tactical uses of UAVs are currently more of a domestic security issue instead of an overseas deployment threat due to accessibility and un-weaponized products currently on the market.
Current potential capabilities include mounting weapons to drones for active shooters, IED-mounting for crowd targeting and possible aircraft takedown scenarios. Operationally, the capability to train and stage units in the operating environment may still be several years down the road but can become a hybrid threat capability as terrorists evolve their tactics, techniques and procedures.
Once this capability is actualized, it may become an emerging threat overseas or in deploying environments. Strategically, this may eventually shape the future combat environment.
Commands should be aware of current UAV capabilities and enact policies that reduce the use of UAVs near sensitive or critical assets in order to reduce their vulnerabilities. A simply benign flying UAV may have a camera-mounted system gathering intelligence without the knowledge of battlespace commanders.
As always, we must first understand the threat then develop countermeasures to reduce our exposure and protect the force!
If you see something, say something!
There are three ways to make a report:
– Contact your local Counterintelligence (CI) office
– CONUS Hotline: 1–800–CALL SPY (1–800–225–5779)
– iSALUTE — Submit a report online https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/6337