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UAV Workshop No. 1: Strategic Vision for Rural Communities - Panel Presentations



The workshop was designed as a one-day event that would provide access to national and local subject matter experts and facilitate discussion among attendees and audience members.

Presentations included:

Click here to view Workshop Slide Presentation 

Overview of the Open Technology Center by John Weathersby, Executive Director of the Open Technology Center

Program Overview and Meeting Objectives presented by Dr. Brad Smith, Director of Federal Programs for the Open Technology Center

PANEL 1: Strategic Value of Unmanned Vehicle Systems for Federal, State and Local Public Safety, Public Service and Public Administration Agencies

Dr. Daniel Massey, Program Manager, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology Directorate

  • (Key discussion points) DHS recognizes essential value of state and local law enforcement and emergency management agencies
  • Need for federal – state – local, as well as local-to-local, cooperation and collaboration
  • UAVs are a valuable tool for use in wide variety of homeland security mission objectives.  Federal government has spent large sums on development of sensors and vehicles and needs to share lessons learned and resources with state and local entities.

LTC Michael Honeycutt, Deputy Commander, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center

  • Camp Shelby is home to National Unmanned Aerial Flight Systems Center.
  • CS has 100 square miles of restricted air space, facilities and capability to serve as training center for appropriate government UAV training activities.

Mr. Albert McCray, Unmanned Vehicle Systems, Avionics Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration

  • FAA seeks to work with state and local agencies to facilitate safe adoption of UAVs.
  • FAA regulations are evolving quickly to address commercial, private and govt demand for UAV access.  Rule 107, regarding rules and regulations for UAVs, expected to be released this summer.
  • Public sector agencies must follow FAA rules regarding operation of all aircraft, including UAVs.
  • No one is allowed to shoot down any aircraft, including UAVs.  If a UAV is operating over private space, then it is most likely an issue of trespassing, but that does not warrant or justify anyone to “shoot it down.”
  • UAVs are NOT to be flown over crowds of people.
  • State and local agencies are required to obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) before using UAV.
  • COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific UA activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the UA can operate safely with other airspace users.

 Mr. Guy Walton, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • UAVs represent a “force multiplier” for law enforcement
  • Collaboration is essential between federal, state and local agencies.
  • State and local law enforcement should never under-estimate the importance of their role in national fight against terrorism and other threats.

 Mr. Lee Smithson, Director, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

  • UAVs have great potential for emergency management activities.
  • Excellent for use in search and rescue, environmental, HAZMAT and other damage assessment scenarios.

Mr. James Boxx, Operational Director, Mississippi Office of Homeland Security

  • Need for training and access to standardized UAVs and sensors for public sector agencies.
  • Collaboration is key to success.


PANEL 2: Tactical Realities of UAV Adoption for State and Local Agencies

Chief Warrant Officer Shane Bradburn, National Unmanned Aerial Flight Systems Center, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center

  • Camp Shelby is unique in its resources and capabilities to training in unmanned vehicle systems.

Mr. Dennis Lott, Program Director / Instructor, Hinds Community College, Unmanned Aviation Systems Department

Dr. Italo Subbarao, DO, MBA, Associate Dean, William Carey University, College of Osteopathic Medicine


UAV User Survey Analysis


Coordination of Joint Funding Opportunities and Grant Writing

Mrs. Rebecca Brown, Mississippi Community Education Center