YUMA, Ariz. – There are over 32 individual unmanned aircraft more commonly known as drones taking flight every week at Yuma Proving Ground, testing new technology that can potentially be used by our military.
“We use it for recognizance, for security, we use them to look along routes in front of the soldiers. We’ll use them to look for, if someone is trying to imply something or we may use something as simple to look for forest fires or lost personal,” said Lt. Col. James DeBoer.
Drones in our military are being used as eyes in the sky watching over our U.S. Mexico Border. Overseas they’re used to protect our military in combat.
“Some of them are carrying weapons, some of them do have as you can see the sensors on these. It also gives the ability for people on the ground to see things,” said DeBoer.
The Marine Corp Air Station Yuma uses their drones for the ability to scan larger areas.
“For the squadrons mission when we are here locally, it’s more so for recognizance. If were at an exercise we will be helping with border patrol,” said Sgt. Xavier Smith.
The unmanned aircraft he’s referring to are piloted from on the ground shelters.
“So as the name states unmanned the aircraft goes up without any personnel in it and we just control it from ground control station,” Gy. Sgt. Jonathan Salasibarra said.
Is that technology safe? 13 On Your Side asked what steps the military is taking to make sure the wrong people don’t get their hands on these devices.
“We just have controlled frequencies that we know. So no one can really jump on or take position or take the aircraft from us,” Smith said.
Currently YPG is working to test security in unmanned aircraft to make sure these devices remain safe.
“Just even with a new prototype on the range we’ll work through initial prototypes by mitigating risks. Maybe we’ll have a kill device or something like that if we were to loose control,” said DeBoer.
So as technology advances we wanted to find out the future of drones or as military refers to them as unmanned aircraft.
“There’s groups like the Air Force Research Laboratory that’s doing work on teamings. There may be multiple groups together flying as a team. We’ve got commercial groups like Facebook that are trying to fly for like 3 weeks,” said DeBoer.
He says he believes the technology will have a longer flight capability, better sensors and more autonomous work.