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CENTCOM stepping up C-UAS effort

A member of the US Air Force's 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron trains with a DroneDefender system during the C-UAS training at Camp Buehring. (US Central Command)

US Central Command (CENTCOM) is improving its counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) effort with a “rapidly evolving set of tools and training”, it said on 18 October.

The C-UAS effort is being assisted by a dedicated Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) cell serving with Task Force Phoenix, the aviation unit currently supporting US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.

“In response to recent UAS attacks on coalition bases in Iraq and Syria, the Task Force Phoenix CEMA cell performed battlefield assessments and identified gaps in C-UAS training,” CENTCOM said. “The team then reached out to the Yuma Counter-UAS Training Academy and US Army Forces Command to get the latest C-UAS training packages being used stateside.”

The result was a five-day training programme for C-UAS operators that includes virtual-reality simulation and hands-on training with handheld systems.

The first course was held for 16 US Army and Air Force personnel at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on 4–8 October and included a briefing from Raytheon on the DroneDefender V2, as well as hands-on training with NINJA and EnforceAir C-UAS systems, CENTCOM said.

It released a photograph of soldiers training with an older version of the DroneDefender made by Battelle, which jams the frequencies used to control most commercial unmanned aircraft.

The D-Fend EnforceAir system is designed to automatically detect UASs and their unique communication identifiers, then hack their controls to land them in a designated area without using jamming that can disrupt other communications.

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