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.
Time to Fly Right
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.
By Lieutenant Lawrence Lederer and Commander John Byington, U.S. Navy Reserve