By SSG Thaddius S. Dawkins II
FORT BRAGG, NC – The United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Division co-hosted a day-long symposium Jan. 23with the USASOC Intelligence Directorate and United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC), inside the USASOC headquarters.
During the symposium, subject-matter experts discussed the future of Special Operations UAS and how it’s important to the USASOAC Commander’s, Army Brig. Gen. Clayton M. Hutmacher, and Army Col. Thomas L. Miller, the USASOC’s Deputy Chief Of Staff for Intelligence, vision.
“The purpose of the symposium was to build connective tissue amongst services, offices and other commands,” said Army Maj. Shane W. Boyd, USASOAC UAS Division chief. “We want to further build relationships that are needed to improve key relationships inside of USASOC that will help build our UAS construct, which is still immature at this point.”
Along with relationship building, Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 (P) Cory T. Anderson, USASOAC UAS Division Deputy Chief, saw additional benefits in the symposium as well.
“I hope it opened attendees’ eyes to what our capabilities are at USASOC and what our vision forward is, not only the type of systems we have, but how we intend to employ them over the next decade, ” he said.
Approximately fifty attendees from the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy were on-hand for the symposium, and although impressed with the turnout, Boyd hopes to see even more participation at the next one.
While the attendees benefitted greatly from the briefs and presentations throughout the day, arranging an event of this size did not come easy.
“We are often in contact with a lot of these folks,” Anderson said. “It’s just not very often that we are able to get them all in the same area or venue so that we can talk specifics. Although we are reaching out to all these different people and places all the time, to get them here, in one room and give them a straight line vision of how we do business, was very difficult.”
As for the future of USASOC UAS symposiums, both Boyd and Anderson hope they can become, at a minimum, yearly happenings and span across two days, instead of just one.
“While it was good, some of the feedback was that it could have been longer, to dive deeper into some of the topics,” Boyd said. “I will try to make it two days next time. One day is good for that initial set, but we need to get more in-depth, so we will look at making it two days for the next engagement.”