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Pentagon: Drones Flying Over Military Bases May Be Shot Down

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The Pentagon has issued a new classified policy in July that empowers military bases to shoot down drones trespassing on government property.

The classified policy was sent to the services back in July, and on Friday, the Pentagon sent new unclassified guidance telling services how to communicate that policy to communities where residents may be flying drones, Defense News reports.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said that private or commercial drones may be taken out of the sky and seized if they fly too close to military installations and are deemed a threat.

“The new guidance does afford of the ability to take action to stop these threats and that includes disabling, destroying and tracking,” Davis said.

It’s not entirely clear how the military will treat land it leases from farmers, who use parts for crops or livestock. These farmers often use drones to keep track of livestock.

“Protecting our force remains a top priority,” Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said in a statement Monday. “That is why the Department of Defense issued very specific, but classified, policies that detail how DoD personnel may counter the unmanned aircraft threat to personnel, vital facilities, and critical assets.”

“The Department of Defense is committed to the safety and security of our personnel, installations, and equipment as well as communities near our DoD installations,” Jamie Davis added. “We support civilian law enforcement investigations and the prosecution of unauthorized UAS operations over military installations. Although we will not discuss our specific force protection measures, DoD personnel retain the right of self-defense.”

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged last year the use of small civilian drones around military bases could be a potential threat and emphasized the need for providing security to sensitive areas.

As part of the effort to counter drones in the air, the Air Force awarded a contract in 2016 to XCOM Wireless for the purpose of developing systems to disrupt drone navigational systems.

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