DOD seeks legal power to counter unmanned aircraft abroad

By Shelley K. Mesch / May 9, 2022 at 2:37 PM

The Defense Department is seeking to modify existing laws to allow it to protect overseas facilities from unmanned aircraft systems, according to a recently released batch of legislative proposals.

In the proposal, language would be added to Title 10 Chapter 3 of the U.S. Code to prevent certain sections of Title 18 and Title 49 from applying to DOD or the Coast Guard when they are mitigating threats from UASs.

Title 18 relates to crimes and criminal procedures, and Title 19 relates to transportation.

The current statutes prevent counter-UAS operations outside of the U.S., including when those aircraft are conducting “mere surveillance,” according to the proposal.

“‘Mere surveillance’ of military operations can jeopardize operational security and be predictive of a threat to military personnel and operations at a future time,” the proposal states.

C-UAS operations are already allowed within the U.S. under written code.