Drone collision in Afghanistan sparks debate on U.S. availability
US Army Shadow UAV at Mosul Airbase Iraq Photo by: Ralph Greenaway/AKE
August 19th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

Drone collision in Afghanistan sparks debate on U.S. availability

By CNN Senior National Security Producer Charley Keyes

A collision between a drone and a cargo plane in Afghanistan this week echoed all the way to Washington, revving up a debate on when the unmanned vehicles will soar over American skies.

The 450-pound remotely-piloted drone–the RQ-7 known as the Shadow– hit a C130 on Monday, destroying the drone, damaging the big jet and forcing an emergency landing.

The accident gave proponents of unmanned air systems a chance to trumpet how successful they have been in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We have more than 1.3-million flying hours on unmanned aircraft systems without something like this happening," said Tim Owings of the Army's Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

And he calls the collision, "a very, very rare event."

And of course, the conditions that the Shadow and its sister craft endure is severe, "in combat conditions, very dangerous conditions, very dirty environments." Owings said. "The systems are quite safe, quite reliable and they have been doing great work."

Owings was one of thousands of people wandering this week through acres of exhibits in the Washington Convention Center at the annual show of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

In a giant mesh cage, inventors can show off their latest zooming, whirling drones that can beam back high-definition color pictures of the enemy burying explosives in an Afghanistan road.

Closer to home, they can show the course of a wildfire in the American west or the size of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"There are no two alike," Insitu executive Paul McDuffee, who was at the exhibit, said about the number of unmanned systems.

"They are like snowflakes. These systems are designed to perform a specific function, the real product of UAS (unmanned air systems) is not the flying platform itself it is the data it delivers."

And McDuffee and others point out that the demand for drones and other airborne gizmos is growing back home, especially as soldiers who had them in their military tool-kit wonder why they don't have the same technology on their civilian jobs.

"For example you have people lost on skiing expeditions or mountain climbing, these systems are tailor-made to go into very hostile weather conditions, and change the calculus of a situation and by that I mean you're no longer worried about the risk of a guy flying through a snow storm," Owings said.

"You use an unmanned system to go, spot people and save lives. And that's really the benefit we provide, saving lives in theater and I think there is an equal benefit state-side as well."

But while proponents of unmanned aircraft want to see those benefits, they aren't holding their breath.

McDuffee predicts that the Federal Aviation Administration may approve some drone use by an estimated 2025 deadline, but the technology for unmanned aircraft to detect and evade potential problems needs more work.

However, he said, the technological solution is probably out there on the giant floor of the AUVSI exhibit.

"That is really the heart and soul of the real issue that faces our industry, how do you safely integrate all of this capability into our national airspace so we can start deploying these systems for commercial use - that is the bottom line," McDuffee said.

And he thinks the FAA was caught off guard about how many unmanned aircraft were coming on line and how to protect the public in the air and on the ground.

"I think it was their belief that this was simply an annoyance. They really never fully understood or appreciated what the total impact of this technology was going to be in the near term," McDuffee said.

"They now realize this is a much bigger, bigger problem, that UAS are here to stay, they are going to have to wrestle with the issue."

And senior military officers are calling for the industry to speed up and offer up new machines.

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch told inventors, scientists and corporate executives attending the conference that he begins his day at the Pentagon by looking at laminated cards with the names and faces of the 153 soldiers lost when he was commanding troops in the early days of fighting in Iraq.

He says he could have benefited from the drones' "persistent stare" to check on insurgents planning an attack or planting an improvised explosive device.

"If I could have done that, I could have watched him continuously and when the bad guys start doing bad things, I could have killed them," Lynch said.

The commanding general of the U.S. Army installation management command said they are a great addition.

"I believe candidly we can accelerate the evolution of technology," Lynch said. "I contend there are things we can do to improve the survivability of our service members."

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • drones • Homeland Security • Military
soundoff (906 Responses)
  1. Angelic Nalbach

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 20, 2021 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  2. Shaun Stoler


    June 20, 2021 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  3. Video Marketing Near Me


    June 20, 2021 at 10:52 am | Reply
  4. Video Marketing Agencies


    June 20, 2021 at 7:44 am | Reply
  5. Internet Marketing Specialists


    June 20, 2021 at 7:11 am | Reply
  6. Digital Marketing Specialists


    June 20, 2021 at 6:47 am | Reply
  7. Content Marketing Agency Near Me


    June 20, 2021 at 4:28 am | Reply
  8. Local Marketing Business

    I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    June 20, 2021 at 2:35 am | Reply
  9. SEO Marketing Services


    June 20, 2021 at 2:20 am | Reply
  10. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 19, 2021 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  11. RV Repair Orange County


    June 19, 2021 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  12. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 19, 2021 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  13. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    That is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 19, 2021 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  14. Camper Repairs Near Me

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I really thought you'd have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.


    June 19, 2021 at 7:38 am | Reply
  15. RV Repair California


    June 19, 2021 at 6:41 am | Reply
  16. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Can I just say what a relief to uncover somebody that truly knows what they're discussing on the net. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people should check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you aren't more popular because you certainly possess the gift.


    June 19, 2021 at 3:16 am | Reply
  17. RV Repair Orange County California

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read articles from other authors and use something from their sites.


    June 19, 2021 at 2:29 am | Reply
  18. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 18, 2021 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  19. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Howdy, There's no doubt that your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent site!


    June 18, 2021 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  20. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I love all of the points you made.


    June 18, 2021 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  21. RV Repair Near Me Now

    After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 18, 2021 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  22. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Itís difficult to find well-informed people on this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 18, 2021 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  23. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 18, 2021 at 10:58 am | Reply
  24. RV Repair San Clemente California

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this subject. I really like all the points you've made.


    June 18, 2021 at 10:51 am | Reply
  25. recycling center near me


    June 18, 2021 at 5:52 am | Reply
  26. pawn shops near me


    June 18, 2021 at 4:53 am | Reply
  27. carl's jr near me


    June 18, 2021 at 2:23 am | Reply
  28. ikea near me

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.


    June 17, 2021 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  29. national parks near me

    Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve been to this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly pleased I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    June 17, 2021 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  30. plumbers near me

    Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 17, 2021 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  31. chinese restaurant near me


    June 17, 2021 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  32. dog adoption near me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now 😉


    June 17, 2021 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  33. u-haul near me


    June 17, 2021 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  34. dogs for sale near me


    June 17, 2021 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  35. htv7 trực tiếp

    Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Việt Nam Vs Lebanon. Coi Truc Tiep Bong Da. Futsal Việt Namvtv6hdXem bóng đá trực tuyến Trực tiếp Odd BK vs Sarpsborg, 20h ngày 24/5, giải VĐQG Na Uy. Xem lịch vạc sóng thẳng soccer EURO thời điểm hôm nay được Webthethao update chính xác nhất.


    June 17, 2021 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  36. Nearby RV Repair

    I really like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 17, 2021 at 11:53 am | Reply
  37. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 17, 2021 at 10:53 am | Reply
  38. RV Repairs Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 10:16 am | Reply
  39. health food store near me

    This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!


    June 17, 2021 at 9:24 am | Reply
  40. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 6:11 am | Reply
  41. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 17, 2021 at 5:41 am | Reply
  42. RV Repair Nearby


    June 17, 2021 at 5:10 am | Reply
  43. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 2:19 am | Reply
  44. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always useful to read content from other authors and use something from other web sites.


    June 17, 2021 at 1:56 am | Reply
  45. beaches near me


    June 16, 2021 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  46. Togel Online

    Heya! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to
    all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

    June 16, 2021 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  47. wegmans near me


    June 16, 2021 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  48. gun ranges near me

    After I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 16, 2021 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  49. RV Repair Orange County


    June 16, 2021 at 9:25 am | Reply
  50. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes which will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 16, 2021 at 9:23 am | Reply
  51. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 16, 2021 at 9:12 am | Reply
  52. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 7:22 am | Reply
  53. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 4:38 am | Reply
  54. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 16, 2021 at 1:55 am | Reply
  55. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 16, 2021 at 1:44 am | Reply
  56. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 16, 2021 at 1:20 am | Reply
  57. Camper Repairs Near Me

    I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 16, 2021 at 1:05 am | Reply
  58. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    Hi there to every one, the contents existing at this website are actually awesome for people experience, well, keep up the
    nice work fellows.

    June 16, 2021 at 12:52 am | Reply
  59. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 15, 2021 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  60. RV Repair Huntington Beach


    June 15, 2021 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  61. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!


    June 15, 2021 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  62. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now

    You are so awesome! I do not suppose I have read through a single thing like this before. So nice to find another person with genuine thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!


    June 15, 2021 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  63. trực tiếp htv7

    Kết Trái Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanontruc tiep htv 7Theo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania vào ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon tuy nhiên sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, quý khách có thể chuẩn bị xếp công việc


    June 15, 2021 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  64. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 15, 2021 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  65. Camper Repair Shops Near Me

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I genuinely thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.


    June 15, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  66. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    After exploring a handful of the blog posts on your web page, I truly appreciate your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me how you feel.


    June 15, 2021 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  67. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 15, 2021 at 11:34 am | Reply
  68. Nearest RV Repair

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes that make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 15, 2021 at 9:01 am | Reply
  69. RV Repair Garden Grove

    I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to check out new things you postÖ


    June 15, 2021 at 8:12 am | Reply
  70. past progressive board games

    It isn't so hard to earn money from since. Seo firm
    offer mainly two type of SEO On Page SEO and Off Page SEO.
    The Auto Profit Serializer can direct this type of traffic
    for site.

    June 15, 2021 at 4:50 am | Reply
  71. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 15, 2021 at 3:45 am | Reply
  72. RV Repair Santa Ana

    I love it whenever people get together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!


    June 15, 2021 at 2:00 am | Reply
  73. Nearby RV Repairs

    Itís hard to come by experienced people about this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 15, 2021 at 1:34 am | Reply
  74. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Hello! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have got right here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.


    June 14, 2021 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  75. RV Repair California

    You have made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 14, 2021 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  76. sandwiches near me


    June 14, 2021 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  77. movies playing near me


    June 14, 2021 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  78. t mobile near me


    June 14, 2021 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  79. pawn shops near me

    Good article. I will be facing many of these issues as well..


    June 14, 2021 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  80. assisted living near me


    June 14, 2021 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  81. diners near me


    June 14, 2021 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  82. boba tea near me


    June 14, 2021 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  83. burlington near me

    Great article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 14, 2021 at 8:37 am | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a Reply to rv mattress near me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.