Pentagon’s Counter Small Drone Strategy

January 8, 2021 10:24 AM

The following is the U.S. Department of Defense Counter-sUAS Strategy that was released on Jan. 7, 2020.

From the report

The exponential growth of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) creates new risks for the Department of Defense (DoD). Technology trends are dramatically transforming legitimate applications of sUAS while simultaneously making them increasingly capable weapons in the hands of state actors, non-state actors, and criminals. Small UAS may also pose hazards to DoD operations in the air, land, and maritime domains when controlled by negligent or reckless operators. The Department must protect and defend personnel, facilities, and assets in an environment where increasing numbers of sUAS will share the skies with DoD aircraft, operate in the airspace over DoD installations, and be employed by our Nation’s adversaries.

In response to this challenge, the Department initially emphasized the deployment and employment of government and commercially-built materiel to address the immediate risks posed by sUAS; however, it resulted in many non-integrated, redundant solutions. Although the initial approach addressed near-term requirements, it also introduced challenges that complicated the Department’s ability to keep pace with a constantly evolving problem. To address these challenges, the DoD requires a Department-wide holistic strategy for countering sUAS hazards and threats.

In November 2019, the Secretary of Defense designated the Secretary of the Army (SECARMY) as the DoD Executive Agent (EA) for Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS, unmanned aircraft groups 1, 2, and 3). In his capacity as EA, the SECARMY established the Joint C-sUAS Office (JCO), which will lead, synchronize, and direct C-sUAS activities to facilitate unity of effort across the Department.

The DoD C-sUAS strategy provides the framework for addressing sUAS across the spectrum from hazard to threat in the homeland, host nations, and contingency locations. Department stakeholders will work collaboratively to achieve three strategic objectives: (1) enhance the Joint Force through innovation and collaboration to protect DoD personnel, assets, and facilities in the homeland, host nations, and contingency locations; (2) develop materiel and non-materiel solutions that facilitate the safe and secure execution of DoD missions and deny adversaries the ability to impede our objectives; and (3) build and broaden our relationships with allies and partners to protect our interests at home and abroad.

The Department will address these objectives by focusing on three lines of effort: Ready the Force; Defend the Force; and Build the Team. To Ready the Force, DoD will maximize current C-sUAS capabilities and use a risk-based approach to guide efficient and rapid development of a suite of materiel and non-materiel solutions to address emerging requirements. To Defend the Force, DoD will coordinate the delivery of joint capabilities underpinned by DOTMLPF-P consideration and synchronize the development of operational concepts and doctrine. Finally, as the global military partner of choice, DoD will Build the Team by leveraging its existing relationships, create new partnerships, and expand information sharing to meet emerging challenges.

Through the implementation of this strategy, the Department will successfully address the challenges posed by both hazard and threat sUAS operating within the U.S. homeland, in host nations, and in contingency locations. Commanders in each of these varied operating environments will have the solutions they need to protect DoD personnel, facilities, assets, and missions from both current and future sUAS threats.

Download document here.

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox