The Corps is being forced to ground commercial drones it has been fielding to infantry units because of a recent Department of Defense policy memo.
The policy memo, released at the end of May and signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, bans the purchase and use of commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS, drones, citing cybersecurity concerns.
“The DoD Inspector General found that the DoD has not implemented an adequate process to assess cybersecurity risks associated with using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Unmanned Aerial Systems,” the memo reads.
To date, the Corps has given out roughly 600 of the small tactical drones and another 200 are pending, Capt. Pena, a Marine spokesman, told Marine Corps Times.