Dunn seeks new law to defend against drone attacks

Legal Authority to Protect Assets and Personnel Currently Unclear, Lawmakers Say

WASHINGTON, DC – Citing new threats from drones both overseas and here at home, Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) has urged the House Armed Services Committee to strengthen the military’s legal authority to protect its installations from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Earlier this year, senior leadership at Tyndall Air Force Base raised their concerns with Dr. Dunn that base security required clearer legal authority to interdict drone attacks on assets or personnel.

“Although the Armed Services have the ability to interdict drones, in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2018, we encourage the Committee to further clarify and strengthen the authority of those on-site and responsible for the security of covered facilities, assets, and classified information to address this threat,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry and Ranking Member Adam Smith

“The emergence and wide adoption of UAS is an important chapter of aviation history. UAS applications represent opportunities across a variety of fields,” added the lawmakers. “As UAS become more prevalent and easily accessible, however, the threat of their misuse must be carefully weighed and addressed.”

Defense leaders have recognized the drone threat to domestic bases as terrorist groups abroad have begun using them in combat zones overseas.

“It’s certainly got more attention as it has become more common among our adversaries,” a defense official told Stars and Stripes. “Even [the Islamic State group] has played with UAVs.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the annual policy bill for the Department of Defense.

The bipartisan effort is being led by Dr. Dunn and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01).