Monday, July 17, 2017

Are Drones A Priority For The U.S. Marine Corp?

The hand-tossed Raven is a small scout drone.
Keenan Zelazoski, USMC, via Wikimedia Commons

Ben Brewster, War On the Rocks: Lady Gaga's Air Force and the Grunt-Angel for Marines: An Infantry Officer's Unlikely Exploration

If you can remember back to the Super Bowl halftime show, it was spectacular, but not because of Lady Gaga’s vocal dexterity or choreography. The constellation of LED drones that appeared to hover over NRG stadium stole the show. However, this impressive technological display also served as a dire warning to an unlikely audience: the U.S. Marine Corps.

The mass production of inexpensive commercial drones has revolutionized the entertainment industry, but the true innovators of this field are found within the ranks of the Islamic State. Weaponized quadcopters, fixed-wing drones that drop explosives, and unmanned systems that serve as aerial scouts or spotters are a real and present threat to U.S. forces. This is acknowledged by a range of military leaders, from the U.S. Special Operations Command commander to a perceptive Marine infantry squad leader.

But a crucial group of people don’t seem to get it: Marine Corps Aviation. Sadly, millions of viewers watched a concert with more drone capability and ingenuity than Marine Aviation currently has or is even exploring. This matters because a young grunt on the ground depends on his flying brothers and sisters in Marine Aviation to protect him from above — to be his “Grunt-Angel.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A brutal commentary on the U.S. Marine Corp's lack of interest in drones.

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