Predator, Reaper Drones Flying to Monitor Harvey, Irma Aftermath

These platforms were designed for ISR – Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. It is great to see the Air National Guard utilizing these awesome birds for IAA – Incident Awareness Assessment. Coupled with manned RC-26 mobile intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planes, they provide a very important visibility of the aftermath. The unmanned platforms give great assessment on which areas have lost infrastructure, which haven’t, and they influence and help with a response. The use of the intelligence drones is permitted via Title 32, which as authorized by the state requesting the aid, allows for the Guard to use operational resources on U.S. soil.

We remind all hobbyists and commercial 107 pilots to please adhere to FAA regulations which provide a safe environment for these craft and first responders. We are glad that our friends and family in TX & FL are safe and well, our prayers go out to those less fortunate.

“The Air National Guard has deployed medium-altitude drones to help airlift and search-and-rescue units find victims in disaster-stricken areas, its top general said Saturday.

The Guard is flying unarmed MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reaper drones, as well as manned RC-26 mobile intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planes, to scour areas in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey, according to Air Force Lt. Gen Scott Rice, director of the Air National Guard.

And they’ll use them for Irma, too, he said.

“Taking a picture of, or a look, or a visibility of what has just happened is very, very important,” Rice told during an interview at the annual conference of the National Guard Association of the United States in Louisville, Ky.

“We have enough assets to rescue and help everyone over time, but we don’t have enough assets to rescue everyone right now,” he  said, emphasizing that surveillance is key to analysing what areas may be “bad versus critical.”

Full Article: Defensetech