FORT CAMPBELL, Ky — On February 23, 2023, elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) conducted a training event that equipped soldiers with tools needed to destroy the unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, increasingly employed by rival military forces around the world.
The Mobile, Low, Slow, Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat System (M-LIDS) and Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat System (FS-LIDS) deliver a host of munitions and electronic warfare signals from armored vehicles to rapidly destroy aerial drones.
In the case of the division’s live fire exercise, this involved firing Coyote interceptor missiles, XM-194 cannons, and M240 and M2 machine guns from Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles at quadcopters. This allowed 24 soldiers from the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team “Bastogne” to employ the systems introduced over two weeks of prior classroom instruction.
The course was taught by a Mobile Training Team from the U.S. Army’s Integrated Fires Rapid Capabilities Office. Senior instructor Brandon Haines underscored the importance and applicability of this training, which can supplement the brigade’s Base Defense Operations Center in a future fight against near-peer adversaries.
“These systems include weapons that can be used for ground force protection as well as aerial engagements,” Mr. Haines said. “As UAS threats continue to grow overseas in places like the Middle East and now, Europe, our soldiers’ ability to provide on-the-spot neutralization of those threats is more critical than ever.”
Next month, 1st Brigade will deploy to Europe in support of the mission to assure NATO allies, deter further Russian aggression and reinforce partner militaries. The brigade’s presence across the alliance’s eastern flank provides combat-credible forces to V Corps, the United States’ forward-deployed corps in the continent. The M-LIDS and FS-LIDS provide additional and relevant capabilities to these forces given Russia’s employment of UAS in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“This training is significant because these soldiers will operate the first FS-LIDS and M-LIDS platforms in Europe,” said First Lieutenant Chadwick Lee, 1st Brigade Assistant Operations Officer. “The battlefield is constantly evolving, and this system gives us another way to combat enemies in the future if needed.”