F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Twentieth Air Force and the 90th Security Forces Group recently held a counter unmanned aerial systems summit with representatives from Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command and seven off-base federal agencies, here March 13-15.
The event allowed attendees to discuss best practices, program management, threat information and future operations in regards to CUAS capabilities.
Security forces Airmen from the 90th Security Support Squadron led the event’s activities. Lt. Col. Matt Pignataro, 90th SSPTS commander, explained how his unit laid the foundation for other AFGSC defenders to further develop the CUAS capability.
"We have worked hard within the 90th Security Forces Group to posture this program and make it exportable," said Pignataro. "We are the first in security forces to have this commercial, off-the-shelf UAS program, so we've paved the way for other units to do this from a regulatory standpoint--now it's up to them to execute.”
Pignataro explained that his unit uses commercial UAS to provide a realistic training environment for the defenders who operate the CUAS program.
According to Joshua Galipeau, 20th AF Antiterrorism officer, the CUAS market has increased tremendously in the last five years and conducting CUAS operations gives units within 20th AF the ability to counter and defeat threats from potential UAS activity.
The three-day event included hands-on training and demonstrations so both civilian and military attendees could better understand what they were being taught in briefings. The cross-talk among the various representatives was also beneficial, according to Staff Sgt. Coty Pointon, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron missile security operator.
“Being able to come together and have an open dialogue with the other bases about what works and what doesn’t is really important,” said Pointon. “It allows the team running this program to be able to take that feedback, analyze it and make decisions that will benefit everyone and allows us to have our voices heard.”
According to Pointon, a highlight of the event was learning how the Larimer County Sherriff’s Office utilizes drones in their traffic and fire investigations to recreate realistic site analysis of incident scenes.
Stephen Gurian, Colorado State University police officer, said he learned a lot from the event and was taking back ideas to further develop his organization’s UAS program.
Galipeau said 20th AF will continue the open dialogue with all AFGSC installations as well as the federal, state and local partners. The goal is to make the event re-occurring and open it up to other career fields in the future.