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Top U.S. Commander: Drones Flying Over Navy & Air Force Installations Are A Threat To Nuclear Facilities

March 09, 2017

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles flying over Navy and Air Force installations are posing a threat to nuclear facilities, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said in a written statement before the House Armed Services Committee for a hearing on the military assessment of nuclear weapons requirements.

“Of recent concern have been the unauthorized flights of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) over Navy and Air Force installations,” Air Force General John E. Hyten said. “These intrusions represent a growing threat to the safety and security of nuclear weapons and personnel.”

“Both the Navy and Air Force are working to field counter-UAS capabilities that can effectively detect, track, and, if necessary, engage small UAS vehicles,” General Hyten added.

Hyten said protecting nuclear facilities and forces continues to be a top priority.

“Protecting our nuclear forces and facilities remains a top priority and we are continually assessing threats to ensure our security apparatus is capable of denying unauthorized access or use of nuclear weapons,” Hyten said.

Two provisions in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act extend authorities to the Defense Department and Energy Department to protect facilities dedicated to nuclear power and weaponry from unmanned aerial vehicles.