The U.S. Marine Corps is issuing quadcopters to every squad which will use the small drones during drills ranging from beach assaults to weapons training and other exercises.
The quadcopters are aimed at getting Marines accustomed to training with an emerging technology that is expected to change the battlefield in ways as yet unknown during future conflicts.
“They’re going fast. We’re talking about [sending] two hundred a month,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. The effort began in January.
The drones will be distributed on the basis of which units are expected to deploy first.
While the new drones are expected to assist Marines during various ground and amphibious operations, they are not coming without problems. Commanders say they are often short of personnel needed to service and maintain the new technology, for instance, which Walsh said is being addressed already. [source]
Analysis: The race is now on to develop drone strategies and technologies. For Marines, drones will be used for pre-invasion reconnaissance; to look over the horizon; to see around corners and buildings in urban terrain; and gather other intelligence. But they will also help commanders develop better training scenarios. Using drones to ‘think tactically’ has also improved discipline. — JD