Army depot addresses countering unmanned aircraft systems

By: Nora Zubia, Letterkenny Public Affairs Officer


Commercial and recreational unmanned aircraft systems/unmanned aircraft (UAS/UA), commonly known as drones, have dramatically increased in popularity in recent years. The Federal Aviation Agency predicts that by 2020 there will be nearly 7 million UAS/UA’s in the United States alone. The surge in UAS/UA use brings to light the importance of identifying and reporting flight of these vehicles over or near federal property.


Letterkenny Army Depot’s (LEAD) top priority is to maintain a safe and secure environment for its workforce and the Soldiers in the field and will mitigate any risk by countering these vehicles identified over the installation. LEAD prohibits UAS/UA operations inside its facilities or on its property without prior approval from the Department of the Army.


Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper has authorized members of the armed forces as well as officers and civilian employees of the Department of Defense to take actions provided in subsection (b) (1) of Title 10 U.S.C. 130i, to mitigate any potential threat that a UAS/UA poses to the safety and security of facilities or assets. If a UAS/UA lands on LEAD property it will be confiscated and held as evidence pending completion of a law enforcement investigation.


LEAD employees and tenants are encouraged to follow the below guidance if a UAS/UA is detected on the installation:


D – DIRECT attention upward and outward to locate the UAS/UA or operator


R – REPORT incident immediately to your supervisor


O – OBSERVE the UAS and maintain visibility of the device


N – NOTICE the feature of the UAS/UA


E – EXECUTE appropriate security or law enforcement action


To learn more about UAS/UA usage and regulations, visit