NEWS | Nov. 13, 2017

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle symposium comes to Okinawa

By 1st Lt. Joshua Hays 3rd Marine Division 

OKINAWA, Japan -- Richard Lusk, retired U.S. Marine Corps captain and current director of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Research Center, Oak Ridge Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, led a two-hour symposium concerning the future of UAS and counter-UAS capability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The Department of Energy-funded lab, the largest such lab in the United States, applies advanced technologies to complex problem sets.

“His work has been integral to the development of UAS capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Lawson Quinn, 3rdMarDiv senior intelligence officer. “With the ability to purchase a drone off the shelf at a toy store, [Marines in the Pacific] must understand not only UAS detection, but future counter-UAS operations.”

Lusk served as the intelligence officer at CAB, 3rdMarDiv in 1989 before becoming a Division intelligence officer. There, he authored the first Department of Defense publication on UAS employment.

“Hosting a subject matter expert, industry leader and visionary who not only served in our theater and understands our unique operating environment, mission and requirements, but is at the forefront of the intersection of the information and physical battle space presents an invaluable opportunity for Marines to leverage future technological advancements to satisfy dynamically emerging requirements in the diverse, complex and vast Indo-Asia-Pacific operating environment, an environment that continues to increase in strategic importance,” Quinn added.

Large multibillion-dollar programs are not always the solution to many multidisciplinary tactical and operational problems of national significance. Creating robust but scalable solutions to such problems often is the answer, particularly for Marines operating in austere environments.

The symposium focused on technological developments in countering UAS platforms, advancing collection capabilities, and how skills Lusk mastered as a Marine enabled the success of cutting edge DoD programs.

3rd Marine Division continues to be the only forward-deployed Division in the Marine Corps and is organized to provide crisis response and contribute to stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.