U.S. military officials are now authorized to destroy personal or commercial drones flying into restricted airspace in and around 133 domestic military installations, Pentagon officials said Monday.
The Pentagon provided classified instructions last month to commanders at the installations detailing measures that they can take against drones flying over their bases, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
The Federal Aviation Administration in April announced a ban for nearly all types of unmanned aerial systems over 133 military installations and testing sites because of security concerns.
Davis said Monday that he could not detail the “rules of engagement” for targeting drones, but he said they included steps such as “tracking, disabling or destroying” them depending on whether they are perceived to pose a threat.
Drones have rapidly grown in popularity in the United States, and the FAA in March estimated the market would grow from about 1.1 million small personal drones in 2016 to more than 3.5 million by 2021. It also estimated commercial drones would expand from about 42,000 to some 442,000 in the same time.
As drones increase in use, Pentagon officials have grown increasingly concerned they could interfere with military training operations within the United States or be used to target personnel.
“The increase of personal and private drones in the United States has raised our concerns in regards to safety and security of our installations,” Davis said. “Protecting our forces remains our top priority.”
Davis said the Defense Department worked with the FAA and other federal agencies to develop its new policy. Installations will soon begin working with local communities to engage the public about restrictions on drone usage around military installations, he said.
GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.
Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."