Air Force Rolling Out Drone Defenses

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The Air Force, in a press release, says it has deployed drone defenses at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. “Our mission is to ensure the safety and security of resources and personnel on base and this is just one method of keeping pace with an ever-evolving threat,” says Lt. Col. William Smith, commander of Offutt’s 55th Security Forces Squadron. That one method isn’t exactly clear. The Air Force isn’t saying what technology or technologies it’s using to keep the drones out—whether it’s a kinetic or energy weapon or signal jamming technique. In its press release, the Air Force simply says, “The 55th SFS now has the ability to stop any unauthorized sUAS that cross Offutt's airspace or boundaries through a number of unique defense systems.”

The announcement follows an announcement by the Pentagon in August, where Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters that a classified policy regarding the defense of U.S. military installations from light drones had been approved. Offutt is the home of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Command headquarters. Drones are prohibited in Offutt’s Class C surface area, but requests for waivers may be approved by the Air Force between three and five miles from the center of the airfield.

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