Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Pentagon Approves Use of Force Against Drones Over US Bases

Pentagon Approves Use of Force Against Drones Over US Bases

While the specific actions that the USA military can take against drones are classified, they include destroying or seizing private and commercial drones that pose a threat, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told reporters on Monday.

The number of uncrewed aircraft in USA skies has zoomed in recent years and continues to increase rapidly - along with concern among US and private-sector officials that risky or even hostile drones could get too close to places like military bases, airports and sports stadiums.

The Pentagon is cracking down on the use of drones over United States military installations: bases now have permission to shoot and destroy any consumer drones flying overhead and nearby that are considered a threat.

The new guidance specifies how DoD will interact with local communities about UAS restrictions on and near military installations, Davis said, adding that it follows classified guidance that was provided to the services and installations in early July.

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Officials say the policy was a response to the surging popularity of drones.

Military analysts have always been concerned about the possibility of drones being used against the United States for espionage purposes. The military also has the right to capture and retain the drone if it so chooses, or to alternatively track it back to its operator.

Wired reported that at the conference, officials showed footage of low-priced drones firing semi-automatic weapons, said that Syrian rebel groups were buying up drones for use in combat, and flashed images showing drones worth $5,000 fitted with weapons taking out a convoy of armored vehicles.

The Pentagon said the new policy applies to 133 military facilities, presumably the same ones listed in April's announcement. The FAA already regulates how and where small UAS are allowed to fly.

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