In April of this year, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division finished a nine-month deployment to the Middle East. Spread across eight bases in Iraq and Syria, the brigade’s forces were targeted by more than one hundred drone attacks during the rotation—almost entirely during a period of about four months when Iranian proxy groups’ activities peaked. It has more experience than any unit in the entire US Army defending against drone attacks.

That makes the brigade a crucial source of lessons for the Army as it seeks to prepare for a modern battlefield characterized by the rapid proliferation of unmanned systems. The drones the unit encountered are known as OWAUAS (one-way attack unmanned aircraft systems), and a combination of weapons and systems enabled the brigade’s base defense operations centers to successfully intercept the vast majority of them. But what weapons are most effective? How reliable are nonkinetic tools like directed-energy weapons? How can sensors be most effectively employed to detect incoming drones with enough warning to defeat them?

To share lessons the brigade learned during the deployment—and how they can inform the Army’s preparation to defend against drone attacks in the future—John Amble is joined on this episode of the MWI Podcast by Colonel Scott Wence, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

The MWI Podcast is produced through an endowment generously funded by the West Point Class of 1974. You can listen to this episode of the podcast below, and if you aren’t already subscribed, be sure to find it on Apple PodcastsStitcher, or your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss an episode. While you’re there, please take just a moment to leave the podcast a rating or give it a review!

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes, US Air Force