The whirring blades of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, are no longer just a novelty on the battlefield. They’ve become a game-changer, and the US Army is taking notice.

Lawmakers are seriously considering a proposal to create a brand new branch dedicated solely to drones, a move that could revolutionize the way the US fights future wars.

Ukraine Conflict Spurs Reevaluation

The impetus for this dramatic shift comes from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. There, drones have played a starring role, conducting reconnaissance missions, delivering precision strikes, and even harassing and disrupting enemy forces.

This real-world showcase has underscored the immense potential of drones, prompting a reevaluation within the US military.

Lt. Col. Robert Solano of the US Army captured this sentiment in a February op-ed published in Breaking Defense, stating, “The conflict in Ukraine has shown that uncrewed systems are no longer the future of war, but the present.”

Solano, a strong advocate for a dedicated Drone Corps, argues that the proliferation of drones necessitates a fundamental shift.

“The Army needs a professional drone corps as part of an uncrewed systems branch,” Solano wrote.

This new branch, he suggests, would “accelerate the adoption of uncrewed technologies, advance the development of new strategies, and improve talent management.”