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PHOTO BY ERDC PUBLIC AFFAIRS

OFTEN, THE QUESTION ARISES: “WHAT DOES AVIATION HAVE TO DO WITH LOGISTICS?” THE ANSWER IS: “A LOT MORE THAN YOU THINK!” BY JASON KIRKPATRICK , Directorate of Logistics

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he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Aviation Program provides the critical capability of utilizing aircraft (manned and unmanned) as part of the Directorate of Logistics (DOL) to enhance USACE’s mission support. Whether it involves passengers, cargo, or performing USACE missions by use of unmanned aircraft, aviation quickly and reliably moves valuable resources and improves mission quality and safety. The USACE Aviation and Remote Systems Program, part of Headquarters’ DOL, is rapidly advancing the adoption of small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) across the enterprise. Aviation is traditionally a transportation function, which ties directly with logistics. SUAS use adds value to scientific and engineering disciplines where there was previously no aviation expertise. Aviation operations are complex, requiring specialized knowledge to ensure legal, safe, and effective use of the technology. As aviation operations expanded, the need for this expertise became paramount to USACE’s ability to leverage the technology. Revolution and innovation have been key buzzwords around USACE for the last several years. Everyone in USACE understands the goal of disrupting the old ways of doing things in favor of new efforts

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that increase our efficiency, safety, and data accuracy. Solving the nation’s toughest engineering problems requires this type of thinking, and one technology that is emblematic of this concept of disruptive innovation is the SUAS, or drone. Today, USACE is executing missions quickly, legally, and safely across the country. Our UAS program has set a standard that is being adopted by organizations in the Army, federal government, and state agencies. This is the result of the USACE program’s focus on mission effectiveness while increasing safety and cybersecurity. USACE has expanded its use of unmanned systems for years throughout USACE districts and labs, executing surveying, inspection, and research projects. The creation of the USACE Aviation Program Management Office (APMO) in early 2018 supports these innovations by ensuring that USACE implements appropriate standards, training, and oversight of unmanned systems and monitors cybersecurity and other risks related to technology integration. Establishing the APMO signals a new beginning for continued growth of unmanned technology within USACE. The APMO directs standards, training, and oversight of all USACE aviation activities. By developing and implementing methodologies drawn from U.S. Army Aviation doctrine, policies, and procedures,

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Building Strong, Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces, 2020-2021  

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