The US army has released a training guide documenting the various techniques for offensive and defensive drone mitigation. Titled ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System Techniques’, the guide addresses the pressing defensive capabilities sought after by military and public businesses alike.

Needs & Considerations

For quite some time, UAS have become an increasing threat to life in the Middle East. Dropping payloads in the form of grenades from small consumer drones such as the DJI Phantom 3 and Matrice 100, the drones have a nefarious history of scouting enemy positions, killing soldiers and blowing up HUMVEES in Iraq and Syria.

The military has often been cited exploring the drone threat as a new frontier; rather than an air-based or cyber-based threat, the danger comes in the form of a joint-construct problem. Regarded as ‘computers with wings’ drones pose an airborne threat with the power and flexibility of a cyber system. To counter drones, the military has taken an multi-faceted approach, looking at electromagnetic, radio frequency jamming and kinetic counter-measures. Up until now however, no operational or personnel guides have yet been published in the way of drone security.

army c-uas
Vertical UAS detection scan technique (C-UAS doc)

Whats in the document?

The document explains various defenses against low, slow and small unmanned air threats. Similarly, how to plan for and incorporate counter-drone operations into training and education. A number of tactics explore the various options available to maneuver units in developing counter-drone methodologies for squads that employ combined arms in a joint-construct threat environment.

Once only limited to being seen by binocular, aircraft and satellite surveillance, troops now face a paradigm shift to force combatants to think differently about how they operate in the field. “Small units operating in and around combat areas should assume they are being observed by the enemy and not assume they are under the umbrella (protection) of air and missile defense units.”

As with developments in attached payloads, FLIR infrared cameras and live video footage, troops should assume enemy systems are treated with a huge range of capabilities. “If a unit is deployed tactically in the field and encounters UAS threats of any category it must be assumed that the intentions of the UAS are hostile, regardless of its actions.”

army c-uas
Horizontal UAS detection scan technique (C-UAS doc)


Chapter 1: Operational Environment
Threat UAS (Low, Slow, Small)
Counter-UAS Training

Chapter 2: Brigade Planning Considerations
Counter-UAS Planning
Passive Defense
Active Defense

Chapter 3: Battalion Level Planning Considerations
Counter-UAS Planning
Counter-UAS Approach
Planning Enablers

Chapter 4: Company Level C-UAS Actions
Counter-UAS Approach
Observer (Air Guard) Techniques

Appendix A: C-UAS Training Strategy

Army counter-drone training

Final Synopsis

While more specifically targeted towards a military audience, the document outlines some critical processes that organisations and High-Value Targets should consider. The Australian Defense Force has been reached out to in order to query if such training will be incorporated over here.

“If LSS UAS is observed over your position, it is likely your position is already compromised,” the document says. “Units must attempt to engage and destroy the UAS using any organic means available, typically small arms fires organic to the unit while simultaneously relocating the unit.”


You can access the document online with this link.