[Ed. – The reasons for drone use aren’t scary — firefighting, post-hurricane searches, border security support. It remains important, however, to not grow complacent about this. The domestic use of drones under military control needs to be rare and unusual. Not sure this is going the right direction.]
The Pentagon this month published new data on its domestic drone use, documenting 11 missions during the 2018 fiscal year. That’s up from 11 missions over the entire span of 2011 through 2017, as noted by Dan Gettinger, co-director of Bard College’s Center for the Study of the Drone.
Most of the military’s 2018 missions fell under the category of “Defense Support of Civil Authorities.” That meant responding to requests from the governors of California and Oregon for support during last year’s wildfire season, as well as helping the South Carolina National Guard with its Hurricane Florence flood response. Defense Department drones were also on call throughout 2018 to provide Southern Border support for a regiment of the Army.