FEDweek

Shooting Down Drones Near Bases OK’d

Drones flown too close to military installations now run the risk of being shot down. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman, told reporters at an Aug. 7 press briefing.

The Defense Department issued guidelines to all installations three days earlier. Citing safety and security concerns, the new guidance will allow base commanders to track, disable or destroy any [privately owned unmanned arial systems] flying in or around installations if they determine such flights constitute “unauthorized activity.”

Davis noted that drone pilots must follow FAA regulations when operating their aircraft, and that the new guidelines, which largely reflect as much, are classified.

“Protecting our force remains a top priority, and that’s why DoD issued the specific but classified policy developed with the Federal Aviation Administration and our agency partners that details how DoD personnel may counter the unmanned-aircraft threat,” Davis told reporters.

He added that the DoD supports civilian law enforcement investigations and prosecutions of unauthorized drone operation over military installations. Without getting into specific force-protection measures, Davis offered a broad self-defense justification for taking out any drones.