Saturday, April 20, 2024

US Army learns to counter the drone threat

US Army Central Addresses Emerging Threat of Unmanned Aerial Systems with Green Sands Training Initiative

In response to the growing menace posed by unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the United States Army Central (USARCENT) has embarked on a comprehensive training initiative known as Green Sands. This initiative aims to equip military personnel with the necessary skills and strategies to counter UAS threats effectively.

The Green Sands training program, conducted in two phases, focuses on enhancing the capabilities of Base Defense Operation Centers (BDOCs) and preparing crews for operations in Iraq and Syria. During the Continental United States (CONUS) phase, held from February 9 to March 5, BDOC crews undergo rigorous training to fortify their defense mechanisms against UAS attacks. This phase lays the groundwork for the subsequent deployment of forces to the Middle East.


Lieutenant General Patrick D. Frank, commanding general of USARCENT, emphasized the critical importance of countering enemy UAS threats, citing the need to safeguard soldiers, service members, and regional partners in the United States Central Command area of responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). The training initiative focuses on dynamic threat scenarios, live-fire exercises, and comprehensive preparations to neutralize UAS threats swiftly and effectively.

One notable aspect of the Green Sands training is its collaboration with subject matter experts from units actively engaged in force protection missions in the region. This exchange of theater-specific insights and best practices ensures that transitioning units, such as the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receive tailored training to address the evolving threat landscape.

Colonel Scott Wence, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), emphasized the need for continuous adaptation and transformation in response to evolving threats. The Green Sands training provides a vital platform for testing and refining capabilities in a real-world environment, enabling units to stay ahead of emerging challenges.

In addition to counter-UAS training, the 44th IBCT undergoes comprehensive post-mobilization training to enhance overall readiness for deployment. Collaborative efforts between USARCENT, First Army Observer, Coach/Trainers, and other stakeholders ensure that mobilized units are fully prepared to tackle current and emerging threats effectively.

The Green Sands training curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including airspace coordination, investigations processes, and the utilization of tactical data links such as Link 16. Hands-on training sessions, led by experienced instructors, provide BDOC crews with the skills and confidence to identify, classify, and engage enemy UAS threats.

Lieutenant Colonel Omar Minott, deputy commanding officer of the 44th IBCT, underscored the invaluable nature of this training in mitigating risks and safeguarding mission success in a dynamic and challenging operational environment.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.