The Army’s Fires Center of Excellence will be creating a counter unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) academy at Fort Sill in Oklahoma with operations starting in fiscal year (FY) 2024, Lt. Col. Dave Morgan, who works with the requirements and capabilities at the Joint Counter Office (JCO), said during an Industry Open House on Friday.
The C-UAS academy would provide a basic level of instruction to every warfighter and establish common core modular lessons that can be used by every service and at any level. It would standardize best practices and create C-UAS subject matter experts for joint training, Morgan said. The training would include training for all levels from operator level knowledge to higher-level training for leadership.
“We believe that the counter UAS academy at Fort Sill will be IOC (initial operational capability) in the early part of FY ’24 timeframe and FOC (full operating capability) in FY ’25,” Morgan said.
The JCO has already developed an institutional training concept that includes a common core C-UAS program of instruction (POI), joint tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and updated doctrine to improve educational baselines, Morgan said. It will provide more training opportunities and identify quarterly and semiannual lessons to improve strategy.
The Army will continue to use Yuma Proving Ground, where they hosted Project Convergence, until the C-UAS academy is at FOC.
The JCO identified a lack of institutionalized C-UAS training during the director, operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) assessment, Morgan said. The current C-UAS training lacked commonality between branches.
“We got that DOT&E assessment, that was completed earlier this year, which identified the lack of institutionalized counter UAS training as the number one insight,” Morgan said. “There are currently no joint linkages or commonality to counter UAS training across the department…The average soldier, airman, or Marine lacks adequate counter UAS training.”
The JCO is currently in the process of updating several publications across the joint community and identifying a common user platform, Morgan said.