New guidelines allow US military to destroy and track drones

A hexacopter drone is flown during a drone demonstration at a farm and winery on potential use for board members of the National Corn Growers, Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Cordova, Md. Routine commercial use of small drones got a green light from the Obama administration June 21, 2016, after years of struggling to write regulations that would both protect public safety and unleash the economic potential and societal benefits of the new technology. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(ABC) — The Department of Defense has issued new guidance to military installations about how to respond to drones and other unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that are deemed a threat to U.S. bases.

The guidance, issued Friday, comes as private citizens and companies increasingly use drones. It is meant to help installations keep their personnel and equipment safe in the face of a new reality.

Classified policy documents were issued in early July for how the military can counter drone threats.

Friday’s guidance was more related to how installations can work with local communities to make sure people are safely flying drones in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

“Protecting our force remains a top priority, and that’s why DOD issued this very specific — but classified — policy, developed with the FAA and our interagency partners, that details how DOD personnel may counter the unmanned aircraft threat,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters on Monday during a briefing.

According to Davis, the new guidance allows the military to take action against unmanned aerial threats, including “disabling, destroying [and] tracking” drones.

The military’s response will depend “upon the specific circumstance and the specific type of installation,” he added.

Davis said that while the U.S. military always has the right of self-defense, the new guidance “will further allow us to ensure we have the ability to take action to protect our installations and our people from the threat” drones pose.

Another Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, said the DOD will “support civilian law enforcement investigations and the prosecution of unauthorized UAS operations over military installations.”

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