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2nd SFS considers drone options for heightened security

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

Col. Chad BonDurant, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander, flies an X2D small unmanned aerial drone (SUAD) with the aid of Andy Profitt, federal solutions engineer at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. The X2D is equipped with a color and thermal camera and capable of 3D scan functions with a plotted flight course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

An X2D small unmanned aerial drone (SUAD) lands autonomously at Cullen Park in Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. The X2D is equipped with a color and thermal camera and capable of 3D scan functions with a plotted flight course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

Andy Profitt, federal solutions engineer at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., launches an X2D small unmanned aerial drone from his hand at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. The X2D is equipped with a color and thermal camera and capable of 3D scan functions with a plotted flight course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

Andy Profitt, federal solutions engineer at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., connects to a X2D small unmanned aerial drone using his remote controller at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. A user-friendly, easy to use interface paired with an advanced obstacle avoidance system makes the X2D easy to learn and maintain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

Justin Jordan, air force account executive at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., discusses capabilities of their small unmanned aerial drones (SUAD) with interested parties at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

An X2D small unmanned aerial drone (SUAD) hovers above Cullen Park at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. The X2D is equipped with a color and thermal camera and capable of 3D scan functions with a plotted flight course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

Justin Jordan, air force account executive at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., and Mr. Andy Profitt, federal solutions engineer at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., discuss capabilities of their small unmanned aerial drones (SUAD) with interested parties at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas.

Justin Jordan, air force account executive at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., and Andy Profitt, federal solutions engineer at Skydio in Redwood City, CA., discuss capabilities of their small unmanned aerial drones (SUAD) with interested parties at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 6, 2021. SUAD employment has been considered in the Air Force for many years as an alternate means for recon and surveying areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Today’s evolving world creates challenges that require evolving solutions. The 2nd Security Forces Squadron at Barksdale knows this all too well and has begun looking into using small unmanned drones to aid the Air Force in adapting to new challenges like scouting urban environments and rooftops. 

Skydio, an American drone manufacturer based out of Redwood City, Ca., visited Barksdale on Oct. 6 to showcase two of their small unmanned aerial drones, the X2D and S2.

“The software and autonomy of the drones enables the operator to do more difficult tasks than they could typically do and it also lowers the learning curve as Airmen get up to speed on the drone,” said Justin Jordan, air force account executive at Skydio. “The processor on it is almost like a small flying server so it can use visual navigation cameras to make sure it doesn't run into objects.”

Overseeing the squadron's interest in using these drones is Staff Sgt. Asia Gray, 2SFS non-commissioned officer in-charge of counter-small unmanned aircraft systems.

“[The drones] can be used for surveillance, recon, intelligence in the squadron,” Gray said. “That's what we look to use them for: helping out in perimeter checks and making sure we’re covering all our security measures.”

With up-coming exercises and future missions on the horizon, the chance to make use of the new drones has already arrived. The 2SFS is prepared for future opportunities to proficiently utilize their continuously adapting arsenal and help keep Barksdale’s personnel safe and secure.