Specialists with the U.S. Air Force 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron provide base defense at Al Dhafra Air Base from threats posed by Unmanned Aerial Systems using a 5-pound radar gun-like device.
“Our mission is to detect and defeat all UAS threats,” explained Master Sgt. Manuel Santiago, counter-UAS noncommissioned officer in charge with the squadron. “We have a variety of sensors and other devices that we monitor for potential threats and, of course, we always count on our Airmen around the Wing to be vigilant and report anything out of the unusual.”
“The C-UAS mission gives us the opportunity to work with a number of agencies around the Wing – comms, EOD, fire, OSS, host nation, and others, including several we don’t often work with on a normal basis,” Gibson said. “Building new relationships not only assists us with C-UAS, but I think it benefits both our defenders and the Wing as a whole. Anytime you are building relationships, you are building a stronger team.”
Santiago said while the C-UAS mission is a relatively new one for Security Forces – the responsibility was first assigned to SFS in 2018 – it is an important one.
“Keeping our Airmen safe and our base and our assets safe, is the focus. C-UAS is a new tool to get that done,” he said.
The new device, known as “Dronebuster,” is a cost-effective tool for security teams and first responders to use during fluid, ambiguous, fast-paced encounters to interrupt the signal between the UAS and its controller.
The system allows the user to efficiently interdict a drone approaching a Forward Operating Base, hovering over a large crowd, snooping into secure/private areas, or flying in restricted airspace. With the Dronebuster, the operator can quickly disrupt the drone command link causing the drone to descend or go home. All the operator needs to do is aim the Dronebuster at the drone and pull the trigger.