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 added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) a bipartisan amendment from Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI). The amendment helps to combat the threat that small, unmanned aircraft systems (drones) pose to U.S. service members worldwide.
“When I traveled to Afghanistan last year, I heard from U.S. military leaders on the ground who were concerned about the emerging threat posed by small drones,” said Senator Hassan. “These small drones can carry deadly bombs, yet they can go undetected by current Defense Department technology. My bipartisan amendment helps to build on the Defense Department’s ongoing efforts to combat these drones and protect service members – and today was an important step forward in ensuring that the annual defense bill includes this amendment.”
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.