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Defense Drones and Disasters in the News

US Navy drone assessing coastal damage800px-thumbnail

SOLOMON ISLANDS (April 17, 2007) – A Scan Eagle drone launched from USNS Stockham to assess coastal damage to outlying islands from an April 2 earthquake and tsunami.

By Christine Parthemore, Executive Director, The Center for Climate and Security

Late last week USA Today and Military Times reported that the Department of Defense (DoD) has used surveillance drones within U.S. borders in recent years. The Pentagon provided further detail to assure the public that most instances were in support of civil authorities as part of disaster response exercises or real-time operations, including the 2013 California wildfires and 2015-16 Mississippi and South Carolina floods.

Knowing the sensitivities involved with unmanned defense surveillance systems operating in American skies, DoD has launched a website highlighting the process by which these military assets can legally be called to assist in responding to domestic natural disasters, which climate experts expect to grow more frequent and intense across the United States. (more…)

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