NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Members of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee see utility for the Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system in the Army National Guard, and they want the service to come up with a proposed plan for building up the drone’s capability in the reserve component.
The subcommittee put forward its portion of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill April 25, including the drone proposal in its markup.
The Gray Eagle is currently fielded in active-duty combat aviation brigades and intelligence units, the lawmakers state, and there are no systems planned for fielding in the National Guard.
“However, the committee notes that there are many missions involving military support to civilian authorities for which the MQ-1C Gray Eagle could contribute, including wildfire response, search and rescue, border security, counternarcotics and communications support during emergencies,” the lawmakers write.
Because of this, the subcommittee wants to direct the Army secretary to provide a briefing to the House Armed Services Committee by March 1, 2019, on the “potential utility, feasibility, and cost of establishing MQ-1C Gray Eagle units in the Army National Guard.”
The committee wants the briefing to be “at a minimum” a detailed rundown of resources needed to build two Gray Eagle companies in the Guard and how the units could provide “support to civilian authorities for domestic emergencies.”