“sUAS Extend Coast Guard Capabilities in the Inland Rivers” –USNI

160919-N-AT101-177 GULF OF MEXICO (Sept. 19, 2016) Cadet 1st Class Hanson Oxford, a student at the U.S. Air Force Academy, operates an unmanned aerial system aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat during exercise Black Dart, Sept. 19. Black Dart is the largest Department of Defense (DoD) live-fly, live-fire, counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Maddelin Angebrand/Released)

A thought provoking article from the US Naval Institute looking at ways small unmanned air systems (sUAS) have been used, or might be used, in support of Coast Guard missions in inland areas.

The Coast Guard apparently includes systems as large as ScanEagle in the sUAS category. The USNI post notes,

“Individual Coast Guard units are currently prohibited from procuring and operating their own sUAS until the Coast Guard can establish a program to provide the appropriate systems and training to operators.”

The discussion here is not about systems as large as ScanEagle, but rather small, off the shelf systems, costing less than $5,000. The costs of these systems is so low, and the potential impact so great, perhaps the Coast Guard should have a program to procure a small number of these systems for units that can make a case for them, as prototypes for future deployment. Ground rules might specify a one year trial period and periodic feedback.

Marines are already starting to deploy these at the squad level. Presumably there must be a contract for them. Maybe they are already on GSA schedule.

1 thought on ““sUAS Extend Coast Guard Capabilities in the Inland Rivers” –USNI

  1. Makes sense to try off the shelf to get a feel for what can be done and limits – faster and cheaper that a big long expensive development project – especially for smaller drones – and if drones don’t do much for a unit then not a lot lost – but the feedback would be great

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