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Help Needed: Military Drones

Karate Pyjamas

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Hey all,


As of short I'm part of the committee who writes my study association's tri-monthly glossy about interesting topics.

I'm tasked with writing a article about military drones as the theme for the next glossy is "Wireless" I chose wireless combat and all it's stigma's etc.


However so far I've peeked in finding info on the social stigma's relating to drone usage in the military, however I found out that my knowledge of combat use of drones is lacking.


Does anyone of you know how military drones are used, why and when, what their tactical advantage is, I'm talking a bit more in-depth than "not putting soldiers at risk". I think we've got plenty of drone operators who know how to use them to their full potential, I'd love to see anecdotes of how you used them on the servers.


If you can share your stories which I can use as a bit of background info it would be lovely.

(also I'm pretty drunk at the point of writing this so excuse me for the poor English and choice of words.


If you know anything interesting please share them here :) 


It's a bit of a random question, I know, but thank's in advance :)



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I think one of the greatest advantages of drones is the tactical oversight that they offer. A drone can see things that the soldiers on the ground can't, access areas either too hard or too dangerous for soldiers to go to. When a commander has a drone over the scene of a firefight, they can make real time decisions and relay information to guys on the ground that gives them a much better perspective of the threats that they face, their direction, number etc... It is also far, far, more effective than having commanders trying to work out what is going on from radio reports from the ground which are often lacking detail and can often contradict each other and cause even more confusion.

Let's look at a simple situation, a platoon engaged from the north by enemy forces, with hilly ground to their west. A second enemy unit is flanking the platoon on the other side of the hills and moving to a position to fire down on them. The commanders will have no idea that the platoon has been flanked until the first shots have been fired and radio reports start coming in that they are taking fire, and they still need to locate the source of the incoming fire and arrange some return fire. Who knows how many soldiers have died before they can start firing back.

Now imagine the platoon is being overwatched by a drone. Being above the hills, it can see the enemy flanking to the west from the very start. The commanders can then move units around to prepare for the appearance of the flanking enemies and fire on them as soon as they are visible, removing the element of surprise and probably saving lives.

As far as I am aware, drones were deployed over most larger scale assaults in Afghanistan by the British (e.g. the Jugroom Fort attack) allowing commanders to watch the attack and give orders as needed. Essentially, they are used whenever they are available because of the massive advantages that they offer!

That's my little bit of knowledge, I haven't even looked at the use for taking out high value targets and the like because I'm not so sure about that :D

I'm sure others can add more information and correct me where I have made mistakes! :)

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Unless you know of someone with first hand experience, I'd be a little bit concerned that it's easy for people to become the expert over the Internet. There was a film out last year called 'Good Kill' which focused around some of the moralities of using drones to kill, also there's a film about to be released called 'Eye In The Sky'. I know Hollywood isn't the best for historical accuracy but if you search IMDB you might find they are based on books which have a more factual background.

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Obama has been under a fair bit of fire for extending the use of Drones, and as such there should be plenty of videos on YouTube in which he and his staff defends the use of Drones.


Might be worth watching some.

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So far I've found a lot of info about why drones cause so much discussion. While providing a tactical advantage as eyes in the sky, the killer drones don't really give you so much as a tactical advantage of scaring the enemy. Sending a drone to IS to kill them only makes them more angry as they see it as an act of cowardliness instead of going mano-e-mano. Another thing is that drones have been collecting video data for a while now but in only a couple of years the video footage collected exceeded whatever humans can process, so drones will have to decided for themselves what to flag as important data or in the future perhaps what would be a direct threat that needs to be dealt with on an 'ad hoc' base.


It's going to be a though article as I was expecting do deal with mostly technological stuff but it's turning into a open article about whether this would be the future of combat and it's not-so-social acceptance.

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