CAMP SHELBY, MS (WLOX) - Unmanned aircraft, or drones, are being flown over an obstacle course at Camp Shelby. The Department of Homeland Security has partnered with Mississippi to test and evaluate unmanned aircraft systems.
DHS has invested $72 million in the program. Mississippi State University is heavily involved in the program. DHS conducted a demonstration of the program at Camp Shelby's training facility Tuesday.
Drones are being used to protect America, support firefighting, in search and rescue operations, and to secure our borders. The unmanned aerial vehicles can monitor a large area in the fight against terror.
"It will help our DHS components do several things. Protect our borders, number one. Assist in search and rescue, number two. It will help us to respond to natural disasters more efficiently. Also, while we're doing that, maintain the privacy, the rights, and liberties of the individuals of this country," said DHS Science and Technology Undersecretary William Bryan.
The program also looks at commercial and recreational use of drones as more and more unmanned vehicles are in the sky.
The Federal Aviation Administration estimates sales of drones will rise from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million by 2020.