I had a bit of writer’s block and a dearth of material for this week’s posting so I decided to just surf around for a while and see what I could come up with. I started with one of the darlings of today’s battlefield – the UAV. For background I found: “Making The Most of New UAV Capabilities in Video/Broadcast Product” (see: http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/news/expertise/making-most-new-uav-capabilities-videobroadcast-production/610167; which is also a photo source).
The article was published in June 2015. Not exactly old, but not exactly new by Internet standards either. The article provides facts and insights into today’s broadcasting technology and urges the entertainment industry to learn how to employ UAVs in their work.
UAVs and MISO are made for each other.
1. PSYOP/MISO in Denied Areas
It seems to me that we will always need a need to project PSYOP/MISO broadcast products into denied areas. The areas may be denied because of the tactical situation the geography or because of a natural or man-made disaster.
2. MSIO Specific Intelligence
UAVs could be used to recon a new AO from a PSYOP/MISO perspective. This would include obtaining imagery of billboards, posters and graffiti. It could also include surveying an urban area to determine the density of satellite dishes and traditional TV antennas.
3. Alternative Platforms
If the current media landscape is unsuitable or uncooperative UAVs might be able to offer flexibility in delivering the message to the target audience employing an alternative transmission schema.
4. Psychological Act (PSYACT) Possibilities
The Predator is a formidable weapons system. You can find the official US Air Force fact sheet at: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Display/tabid/224/Article/104469/mq-1b-predator.aspx (also a photo source). While originally used for surveillance and reconnaissance, the Hellfire Missile equipped UAV has been credited with a number of very successful terrorist attacks. Consequently a little creativity can help leverage the presence of even an unarmed UAV as a Psychological Act.
Of course the AO’s ROE will impact the use of UAVs and an emerging body of law concerning them, especially their impact on privacy may also factor into their use.
In any event, the UAV will undoubtedly emerge as an effective influence weapon as it has in its previous missions. Will they replace Commando Solo? At this point it is highly unlikely, but in fairness, we are now
only scratching the surface of their potential.