Hoeven Urging Army to Work with North Dakota Test Site & Partners to Counter UAS Threats

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven urged Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth to work with the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Test Site in developing technologies to counter the misuse of unmanned aircraft. The senator highlighted the role of the Army’s Joint Counter-Small UAS office, which coordinates efforts across the Department of Defense (DoD) to deal with potential UAS threats, and opportunities to connect these efforts with the test site and its wide array of partners, which include military, federal, state, university and commercial entities.

“North Dakota is leading the way in developing UAS to benefit our nation, strengthening both our economy and security,” said Hoeven. “At the same time, there are real risks from the misuse of unmanned aircraft that we are working to address. Considering our test site’s existing partnerships with the FAA, NASA and Customs and Border Protection, it makes sense for the Army to leverage North Dakota’s expertise in developing counter-UAS capabilities to protect our servicemembers and their missions."  

This week’s hearing comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to advance the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace and continue growing North Dakota’s leadership in developing both UAS and counter-UAS capabilities. To this end, the senator has:

  • Worked to advance the implementation of the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018.
    • Hoeven helped introduce and pass this bipartisan legislation to support the development of counter-UAS technology and protect important facilities from potential misuse of unmanned aircraft.
  • Authored and secured language in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding legislation directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to report to Congress on efforts to establish a counter-UAS training program to benefit state, local and tribal law enforcement.
    • Hoeven is also pressing the FBI to utilize the expertise of North Dakota’s test site in this effort.
  • Provided $35.9 million in FY2021 for counter-UAS development at the Department of Homeland Security.