US Army Proposes New Drone Branch Inspired by Ukraine Conflict

The US Army is proposing to establish a new drone branch, dedicated to drone operation and counter-drone work, in response to lessons learned from the Ukraine-Russia conflict, where drones have proven to be a game-changer on the battlefield. This new branch, which would be the Army's 23rd, aims to improve specialized training, foster innovation, and enable targeted recruitment of drone operators, with significant implications for modern warfare and global security." This description focuses on the primary topic of the article (the proposed drone branch), the main entity (the US Army), the context (the Ukraine-Russia conflict), and the significant actions and implications (improving training, innovation, and recruitment, with implications for modern warfare and global security).

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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US Army Proposes New Drone Branch Inspired by Ukraine Conflict

US Army Proposes New Drone Branch Inspired by Ukraine Conflict

The US Army is proposing to establish a new drone branch under the 2025 defense authorization bill, focusing on drone operation and counter-drone work. The move draws heavily on lessons learned from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where drones have proven to be a game-changer on the battlefield.

Why this matters: The proposed drone branch reflects a significant shift in military strategy, acknowledging the critical role of unmanned systems in modern warfare. As drone technology continues to advance, this development could have far-reaching implications for global security and the future of combat operations.

The proposed drone corps would be the Army's 23rd branch, dedicated solely to drones. It would handle not only small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) but also counter-small-UAS capabilities. "The branch would address not only small UASs—unmanned aerial systems—but also counter-small-UAS capabilities," a congressional staffer explained. "It's reflective of the lessons learned in Ukraine and also reflective of what our international partners are doing."

Ukraine established its own drone branch in February, setting a precedent that the US Army is now looking to follow. The proposed US branch aims to improve specialized training, foster innovation, and enable targeted recruitment of drone operators. Senior officers would lead this new branch, focusing on training and modernizing drone capabilities.

According to the authorization bill, the drone corps would "serve as a command center for Army operations involving the aircraft and systems... (and) carry out activities to integrate such aircraft and systems with Army forces that have not traditionally used such aircraft and systems." The proposal also includes funding for three critical counter-drone initiatives from the Army's unfunded priority list, totaling $350 million.

Lt. Col. Robert Solano explained in an editorial that the proposal represents a major change in the way the US has historically organized its defense divisions, moving from categorizing forces based on operational domains to recognizing the importance of uncrewed systems. Military leaders across Europe and elsewhere in the world are taking note of the transformative impact of drones on modern warfare, as seen in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

The proposed drone branch would be a significant step toward modernizing military capabilities and addressing contemporary warfare challenges. The Army aims to stay ahead of emerging threats and maintain its competitive edge on the global stage. With the 2025 defense authorization bill specifying the general organization and specific functions of the drone corps, the proposal's adoption seems likely, signaling a shift in military strategy and training focus for the future.

Key Takeaways

  • US Army proposes new drone branch under 2025 defense authorization bill.
  • Branch to focus on drone operation and counter-drone work, inspired by Ukraine conflict.
  • Proposed branch would be Army's 23rd, dedicated solely to drones and counter-drone capabilities.
  • Funding includes $350 million for three critical counter-drone initiatives.
  • Proposal aims to modernize military capabilities and address contemporary warfare challenges.