The Navy needs to develop crew criteria for small- and medium-size unmanned aerial systems, and it may not be making full use of all the resources within its grasp.
One doesn’t have to listen to the news very long before hearing the oft-misused terms “drone” or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Those so-called drones—when combined with crew, communication control, and infrastructure—are actually unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Retired Captain Robert Rubel described in a July 2012 Proceedings article the ways in which UAS operations could be altered. 1 It’s also time for the Navy to consider a significant change in the way UAS are manned.