Unmanned systems currently may be joining the fray against friendly forces. Lt. Gen. Michael H. Shields, USA, director, Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO), states that his organization had predicted this improvised threat and is organized in a way to recognize, react and respond to it.
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Gen. Shields spoke with SIGNAL Magazine Editor-in-Chief Robert K. Ackerman for an article in the July issue.
Our adversaries are innovating. They are focusing on research and development. We continue to focus on the IED threat—the different methods of delivering those IEDs—and we are as busy as ever.
Lt. Gen. Michael H. Shields, USA, Director, Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO)
Among the numerous tools JIDO is relying on to fight the UAV-IED threat is advanced information system technology. Optimized sensors for detection and tracking, combined with new methods of data processing, could be crucial to defeating increasing and emerging dangers in the battlefield.
Gen. Shields says the U.S. Defense Department and political leadership are providing enough funding to JIDO to move swiftly as a quick reaction capability within the department. The organization also has reformed its contract framework to provide better agility and flexibility, coupled with cost savings, which the General states as substantial for JIDO.
Although budget support for JIDO is pretty good, the General feels that with more funding he could invest it in capabilities to combat growing threats, including unmanned aerial systems. Besides the wish list, JIDO is dedicated to providing capabilities to the soldier within two years, he adds.
Computer and advanced analytics also feature high on the General’s list, as are artificial intelligence, deep machine learning and natural language processing, all targets of opportunity for academia and industry, the article highlights. JIDO already is deeply engaged in collaborating with the business sector to tap technologies that back its mission.