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Life-saving know-how: UNGSC-UNCAP MINUSMA Drone Training

Submitted by Kristof Hamelryckx on 19 Jul 2023
19 Jul 2023

Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) training is critical to identifying potential risks, improving real-time situational awareness, preventing ambushes, and saving lives. The United Nations Global Service Centre (UNGSC) provides this vital know-how on-site for Peace Operations, as well as other UN entities, through a partnership with the UN Command, Control, Communications, Computers Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Academy for Peace Operations (UNCAP).

The latest such UAS training, at the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), in Timbuktu, addressed these vital issues through use cases (i.e., convoy overwatch; camp protection; explosive search team area reconnaissance; patrol support; vulnerable point identification and clearance checks; explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team support; and night-time operations).

MINUSMA Field Technology and United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) personnel learned how to safely operate Micro UAS over major supply routes and intersections; how to use advanced Matrice 300 drones equipped with infrared cameras (that zoom-in on thermal images to search for people at night; identify fires; or perform explosive ordnance reconnaissance); and benefited from a Train-the-Trainers course on safe, effective UAS operation.

As a result, MINUSMA now counts 12 new Micro-UAS operators and six new Micro-UAS instructors who will share knowledge with contingent troops, adding tangible value to peacekeeping.

This intensive UNGSC-UNCAP programme was delivered by Hizkiel Gebreselassie (UNGSC), Arturo Ojeda Demaria (UNGSC), and Mamadou Diabate (MINUSMA), (13.03.23 - 04.04.23).

Building on the UNCAP training syllabus, UNGSC tailors training courses to different operational environments (e.g., for Peacekeeping missions, UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes) and provides full spectrum technology solutions around UAS, including counter UAS, and drone digital forensics services. Clients include the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT), and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

This collaborative effort, demonstrating the dedication of worldwide personnel to safety and preventative security, is already yielding a significant impact on the ground, advancing UAS operational safety across the UN system. Read about DOS on iSeek or our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Life-saving know-how UNGSC-UNCAP MINUSMA Drone Training 1

Life-saving know-how UNGSC-UNCAP MINUSMA Drone Training 2

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