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Travis launches small unarmed aircraft initiative, first on USAF installation

Travis Air Force Base, Easy Aerial partner up for Autonomous Drone Based Security Operations

A man inspects a drone.

Vazgen Petrosyan, engineer for the Easy Aerial drone, inspects the drone before a test flight at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 25, 2020. The drone would give security forces Airmen an option for quick response to various scenarios or events on Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

A man looks up in to the sky.

Brandon Feldmann, 60th Security Forces Squadron trainer, watches a tethered drone test at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 25, 2020. The drone would give security forces Airmen an option for quick response to various scenarios or events on Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

A close up photo of the drone's camera.

The 60th Air Mobility Wing Security Forces tests a new patrolling drone at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 25, 2020. The drone would give security forces Airmen an option for quick response to various scenarios or events on Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

A picture of the drone.

The 60th Air Mobility Wing Security Forces tests a new patrolling drone at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 25, 2020. The drone would give security forces Airmen an option for quick response to various scenarios or events on Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

A picture of a drone in the air.

The 60th Air Mobility Wing Security Forces tests a new patrolling drone at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 25, 2020. The drone would give security forces Airmen an option for quick response to various scenarios or events on Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

A woman in the Air Force talks to civilian personnel in a group.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Marie Steffen, 60th Air Mobility Wing small unmanned aerial system chair, discusses with various members of the team observing a drone test at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 25, 2020. The drone would give security forces Airmen an option for quick response to various scenarios or events on Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The 60th Security Forces Squadron, in collaboration with Easy Aerial, a leading provider of autonomous drone-based monitoring solutions, launched the first automated drone-based perimeter security system for the United States Air Force here Dec. 11.

 

The small unarmed aircraft initiative redefines on-base perimeter security systems to potentially advance warfighting capabilities, enhance strategic deterrence and foster full-spectrum readiness across the Air Force. 

 

“Easy Aerial’s unmanned aerial systems are a game-changer,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Hicks, 60th SFS small unmanned aircraft system instructor. “This jointly developed technology will provide unparalleled security and safety for our Airmen and critical assets.”

 

Upon receiving a security trigger such as a fence alarm, fire alarm or other distress call, the Smart Air Force Monitoring System, can be programmed to automatically deploy from its base station and autonomously navigate to the triggered site to provide complete, unparalleled situational awareness. After mission completion, the small unarmed aircraft autonomously returns to its base station, where it recharges and waits for its next mission.

 

The small unarmed aircraft initiative is part of the Small Business Innovation Research Phase II program, which adheres to Air Force perimeter security and situational awareness operational requirements.

 

“This was a joint effort as we worked closely together from start to finish, resulting in a customized solution for the Air Force that meets all of their operational desires and requirements,” said Ivan Stamatovski, Easy Aerial chief technology officer.

 

Hicks stressed the technology could save lives, time and money.

 

While the sight of seeing small unarmed aircraft fly around Travis may seem suspicious to some, Hicks said, there is no need for alarm as the drones will enhance mission effectiveness.

 

“The sUAS has the capability to assist civil engineering for fire response, maintenance for tail inspections … and that is just the beginning,” he said. “The impact this program is going to have on the Air Force will be seen in many different capacities.”

 

When Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, Air Mobility Command commander, announced her priorities for AMC in October, she stressed the importance of expanding capabilities to project the force, defend installations and networks while maintaining the joint force.

 

“Key to that methodology and mission success is innovation; seeing things as they can be, not how they are,” Van Ovost said.

 

This is truly a pioneering moment for the Air Force and the Department of Defense championed by Travis, Hicks added.

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