US Military Can Now Down Drones Flying Over US Bases

Posted August 09, 2017

The military can track, disable and destroy UAS in accordance with new authority granted in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and subsequent Defense Department policy.

If you own a commercial or privately-owned drone, you now fly over any military base at the risk of losing your aircraft.

It's illegal to fly most drones above quite a few USA military bases, but a new Pentagon policy takes that a step further: The military can now shoot down or seize drones that get too close.

"The increase of commercial and private drones in the United States has raised our concerns with regards to safety and security of our installations", US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters at the Pentagon Monday. All drone activities within the United States must follow Federal Aviation Administration rules and guidelines.

In 2015, officials from the USA military, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the FAA gathered at the DHS headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss the potential use of hobbyist drones by terrorists or assassins.

This will apply to both private and consumer drones that are deemed to be a threat, which we guess makes sense. The FAA said there could be as many as 1.6 million commercial drones in use by 2021.

The Pentagon has worked closely with the Dept. of Homeland Security on these measures and allows the military the options of using conventional weapons to shoot down a drone or other countermeasures include non-kinetic methods like the use of radio waves to disrupt drone flight. On Friday, Small UAS News reported that the army had banned drones by Chinese manufacturer DJI over concerns about their "cyber vulnerabilities". That announcement didn't say anything about the military reserving the right to obliterate or intercept drones, however.