VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — The buzz of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) filled the skies Friday above the Point Mugu Naval Station in Ventura in a military effort aimed at combatting drones used for terrorism.
It’s all part of the U.S. Air Force exercise known as Black Dart, a live fly, live fire two-week drill to test out over 50 different kinds of new drones – and perhaps most importantly – drone defenses.
Black Dart allows military officials to experiment with various strategies to deter or shoot down drones that would be used to conduct terrorist attacks such as carrying weapons or chemicals.
While the military has been conducting Black Dart exercises since 2002, officials have refocused their training efforts in the wake of several recent high-profile drone incidents, including one in which a UAV hindered firefighting efforts during a 35-acre brush fire in Mill Creek Canyon.
Officials said the drone hampered their efforts for at least 20 minutes.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Scott Gregg told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO drone interference is an issue that’s becoming harder to ignore.
“Just from the news reports you see, even recently last week here in California with drones getting in the way of firefighting aircraft, it really is turning into a much more serious and widespread problem,” said Scott.
Everything from hacking into a drone to send it off course or using lasers to shoot it down will be tested under the Black Dart exercise, according to officials.