Remotely Piloted Aircraft: An Integrated Domestic Disaster Relief Plan
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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How should government agencies integrate remotely piloted aircraft RPA into emergency response plans in support of relief efforts following a major disaster Highlighting two recent historical events Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake as cases for motivation and lessons learned, research will determine the feasibility of integration, identify the roadblocks, and suggest a way for RPAs to effectively participate in emergency response. The Department of Defense DOD should coordinate with the Federal Aviation Administration FAA and Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA to integrate its RPAs into incident management plans in support of domestic disaster relief efforts. Some DOD agencies have developed concepts of operations and employment for defense support of civil authorities DSCA. Based on a presidential directive in mid-2011, FEMA is reassessing its disaster response system by rewriting its doctrine and developing a full-spectrum preparedness program. With Congress s approval of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the FAA is not only funded, but also energized to substantially improve its efforts to integrate RPAs into the national airspace system NAS. All these efforts present a critical window of opportunity where agencies should capitalize to integrate RPAs into the NAS, even if only temporarily. First, FEMA should integrate RPA support into its incident management systems, be familiar with their contributions, and be able to interoperate with them during a major disaster response. Furthermore, the FAA should establish RPA deconfliction procedures for immediate and temporary use in a disaster-stricken area. Finally, DOD crews should be trained to successfully complete the mission of supporting civil agencies in any domestic disaster response. These activities combine to ensure that the most capable assets are employed to effectively react to national emergencies.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics