Pentagon Issues Guidance on Unauthorized Drone Operations Near Military Installations

DJI Phantom quadcopter

DJI Phantom quadcopter

The Pentagon has sent new guidance to the armed services that lays out the military's authority to disable or shoot down any drone that violates airspace restrictions over a USA base and is deemed a security risk.

Yet on Monday, the Pentagon gave 130 military bases across the country the green light to shoot down private and commercial drones.

The Pentagon provided classified instructions last month to commanders at the installations detailing measures that they can take against drones flying over their bases, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. The new guidelines would allow drones to be disabled or destroyed: a Defense.gov statement said DoD "cracks down" on drones.

Guidance was sent August 4 to the services and to installations about the use of small unmanned aircraft systems - commonly called drones - over and around military installations in the United States, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said.

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Davis said the military has always had the authority to defend the bases and troops, "but this I think makes it a little more solidified with what we're able to do, and it's been completely coordinated with the FAA".

The Pentagon and FCC announced a new rule in April prohibiting drone flights within 400 feet of 133 domestic installations and said that pilots caught violating the restriction would be subject to arrest. The armed forces also fear they could be used to spy on the USA too.

Prominent locations including the Pentagon and Washington are already "no drone zones". How a base responds to a drone "will depend upon the specific circumstances".

The number of small, hobbyist drones in operation will likely increase from about 1.1 million in 2016 to 3.55 million in 2021, the FAA predicted earlier this year.

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