The Pentagon's inspector general has launched a review of the Defense Department's use of unmanned aerial systems to support civil authorities.
The assessment will "determine whether DOD policies and procedures for using UASs and associated processing, exploitation, and dissemination resources comply with applicable laws, regulations and national policies for providing support to domestic civil authorities," according to a Nov. 6 memo from Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence and Special Program Assessments Anthony Thomas.
The IG's office will perform the evaluation at "Office of the Secretary of Defense elements, selected military services, combatant commands, defense intelligence components and other DOD organizations," the memo states.
According to DOD's 2013 Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities, the Pentagon's mission of providing support to civil authorities entails maintaining defense preparedness for domestic incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons and developing plans and procedures to deal with complex catastrophes. In the past, the report notes, DOD has deployed forces to aid law enforcement along the southwestern U.S. border, to safeguard summits and high-profile sports events, and to respond to imminent or sudden events such as wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes.