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UAV Workshop No. 1: Strategic Vision for Rural Communities - Executive Summary

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

PROGRAM OBJECTIVE: to assist government agencies in rural communities acquire and operate unmanned vehicle systems to support law enforcement, emergency management and critical infrastructure protection and maintenance objectives.

 

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, the Open Technology Center hosted the Drone Workshop for Mississippi Public Sector Agencies at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center.  The day-long workshop was attended by more than 60 federal, state and local representatives of public safety, public services and public administration agencies and organizations from the southern region of the State of Mississippi.

The Unmanned Vehicle (commonly referred to as “drones”) Workshop was conducted as part of the Open Source Unmanned Remote and Autonomous Vehicle Planning Systems (OS-URAVPS) program that is designed to assist government agencies in rural and underserved communities acquire and operate unmanned vehicle systems to support law enforcement, emergency management and critical infrastructure protection and maintenance objectives in these areas.

Initial program activities, such as the Workshop, focus on coordinating with public safety, public service and public administration communities of interest within the 13 counties in south Mississippi which make up the State's Fourth Congressional District and will be conducted at OTC facilities located at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) new Hattiesburg, MS.  Future activities will include agencies from across the state and ultimately across the nation.

The primary objective of the May 19th Workshop was coordinate with state and local officials and to identify specific benefits and challenges of using unmanned vehicle systems in rural communities.  OTC distributed a User Survey2  to regional, state and local agency representatives four (4) weeks prior to the event to collect data to establish a baseline of information regarding current use and future interest in using unmanned systems.  Data collected from survey results were presented during the workshop and will be used to further identify and address interests, needs and challenges of program participants.

The OS-URAVPS program is sponsored by the Department of Defense's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO)  and the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T).  

The program is conducted by the Open Technology Center (OTC), a Mississippi-based non-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate research, development, evaluation, training, public-private collaboration and technology transfer of open source and other open technology solutions to support national defense and homeland security objectives.  OTC programs and activities seek to increase technical, administrative, economic and cyber security efficiencies of public and private sector IT systems.