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LtCol. Matt Begert, USMC (Ret) and Dr. Robert J. Bunker participate in Third GCTF C-UAS Webinar/TTX

On 5 and 6 December 2023, LtCol. Matt Begert, USMC (Ret) and Dr. Robert J. Bunker participated in the GCTF Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems and New, Emerging, and Disruptive Technologies Initiative Third Webinar / Tabletop Exercise Workshop. The two day event was attended by national security/policing, professional, and academic stake holders internationally who focus on mitigating and responding to the threat of terrorists utilzing weaponized drones (as well as advanced technologies related to them).



The summary of this activity will be released in the future by GCTF C-UAS.


Public information related to GCTF C-UAS is as follows:


GCTF Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems and New, Emerging, and Disruptive Technologies Initiative


The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and linkages with new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes is rapidly advancing.  Greater stakeholder understanding and informed action are required to address potential dual-use capabilities in counterterrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism.  As States grapple with how to embrace new and emerging technologies as they relate to UAS, terrorists will continue to exploit and leverage these technologies.  The GCTF has made strides in understanding the threat posed by UAS for terrorist purposes but more needs to be done.


As of September 2023, the GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum, co-led by the United Kingdom and United States, has been expanded to acknowledge the rapid pace at which new and emerging technologies are developing and their connection with UAS. The Initiative will include the potential security impact of three key types of emerging technologies:


  1. artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML);

  2. production of Small and Light Weapons (SALW) through 3D printing and related mechanisms; and

  3. the expanding nature of unmanned systems to sea, land, and air domains. 

This initiative will help the UAS community address and counter the nefarious use of enhanced capability unmanned systems by terrorists and highlight the legitimate uses of emerging unmanned systems capabilities, as well as security-related challenges associated with their integration into national and international environments.  



Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum 


The United States and the United Kingdom announced the Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum during the Twentieth GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting September 2022. This Initiative builds on the Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems, which was developed through the Initiative to Counter Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Threats (2018-2019), co-led by Germany and the United States.


Approach


To complement and build upon previous GCTF counter-UAS (C-UAS) efforts and help raise awareness of and promote the practical use of the Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (2019), a new GCTF C-UAS Initiative incorporates a series of online webinars planned for 2023. If travel and health conditions permit, an in-person event may be planned. The GCTF Initiative will bring together national and local governments, international and civil society organizations, academic institutions, and private sector partners for a series of webinars to:


  • Recognize the value and important applications for UAS technology and consider appropriate regulatory frameworks – including on export controls.

  • Promote a concerted, whole-of-government effort to expand risk assessment and mitigation practices, increase outreach and education, and publicly condemning terrorist attacks utilizing UAS.

  • Encourage cooperation among national security and law enforcement entities, civil aviation authorities, air navigation service providers, private sector aviation and other stakeholders to continue information exchange and analyses pertaining to UAS threats and trends.

  • Call on the international community to make additional efforts to counter the use of UAS by terrorists, including a trend analysis and programmatic needs and gaps assessments in the detection of and protection against terrorist use of UAS.

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