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Hassan-Johnson Bipartisan Provision to Address Drone Threats Included As Part of Annual Defense Bill

Bipartisan Legislation Stems from Senator Hassan’s Visit to Afghanistan, Where She Heard from U.S. Military Leaders About the Threat Posed by Small Drones

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a bipartisan amendment introduced by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) to help combat the threat that small, unmanned aircraft systems (drones) pose to U.S. service members worldwide.


“Following up on conversations I had with U.S. military leaders in Afghanistan, I crafted this amendment to help strengthen the Defense Department’s efforts to combat the emerging threat of small drones,” Senator Hassan said. “Despite their size, these drones can be deadly, and our military must have the technology it needs to detect these drones and save service members’ lives.”


“Today’s passing of the National Defense Authorization Act with our bipartisan amendment firmly recognizes the authority of the Secretary of the Army regarding counter-drone efforts and oversight within the Department of Defense. This legislation will work to combat the threats from small unmanned aircraft systems and is critical to protecting our nation’s service men and women," said Senator Johnson.


The amendment from Senators Hassan and Johnson will recognize and codify the authority of the Secretary of the Army to coordinate counter-drone efforts at the Department of Defense, and requires that the Secretary of the Army complete an overall strategy to combat evolving drone threats by the end of September, and share the strategy with Congress. The amendment also includes critical oversight measures such as requiring the Secretary of the Army to assess any obstacles to the implementation of its strategy and initiating an assessment by the Government Accountability Office on the effectiveness of the Department of Defense’s counter-drone program.


You can read the text of the Senators’ amendment here.