Unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as drones, are becoming more capable, cheaper, modifiable, and potentially more dangerous.
In recent months, Eighth Army has teamed up with the Republic of Korea Army in a series of training exercises to counter this emerging threat by having their counter-small UAS teams conduct joint training.
In a series of exercises beginning last August, Eighth Army and ROKA Soldiers trained how to integrate counter-small UAS operations into their joint command and control structure. They also trained on detecting and defeating drones with different counter-UAS platforms in various types of terrain around South Korea.
The Soldiers primarily used the Drone Defender counter-small UAS system along with one other platform according to Maj. Joshua Gompert, Strategy and Policy chief and Eighth Army experimentation lead. “They provide an electronic attack defeat capability - GPS jamming.”
These counter-small UAS exercises are overseen by a newly created Eighth Army unit, which is setting the stage for future joint training that incorporates the ROK Army’s Dronebot team with Eighth Army teams. The main focus of these past few months was refining systems and battle drills with the counter-small UAS command post, which is now integrated into the overarching ROK-U.S. Combined Command Post that overseas exercises and real-world operations. The collaboration develops interoperability between on-peninsula capabilities to defeat the threat posed by small UASs, according to Gompert.
“Eighth Army is continuing to build upon our campaign of learning by hosting a series of follow-on C-sUAS exercises and experiments to maintain readiness and advance our capabilities,” Gompert said.
Another aspect to the counter-small UAS effort is the collaboration with science and technology stakeholders across the enterprise to include government, industry, allies and partners in order to ensure that the ROK-U.S. Combined Joint Force is ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
“This combined and joint experimentation will increase the readiness and interoperability of the ROK-U.S. Combined Joint Force to compete and respond to crisis and conflict,” said Gompert.