Ukraine should create Drone Operations Command

Ukraine should create Drone Operations Command

Ukraine should create Drone Operations Command the similar like the South Korea did.

South Korea launched the world's first Drone Operations Command: it creates a separate organization, planning, management and application of operational and strategic levels for drones

On September 1, 2023, South Korea, one of the most mighty economic and military states in the world, was the first to make revolutionary systemic changes on the results of the development of combat drones.

In the photo: General Kim Seung-kyum, Commander of the South Korean Armed Forces, gives the flag of the newly established Drone Operations Command to General Lee Bo-Hyung.

The drone command is responsible for both independent drone-only operations and planning drone operations in coordination with other operational commands.

The drone command is responsible at the strategic and operational levels for the performance of all types of tasks for defense, reconnaissance, defeating the enemy, psychological and radio-electronic warfare missions during various combat operations scenarios and threats, both during full-scale warfare and asymmetric conflicts. 

The drone command is supposed to be a unified combat command, which coordinates and manages the development and use of drone units of all types - air, sea, ground, which are available to all branches of armed forces.

I emphasize that this does not mean that all drone units are subordinated administratively and organizationally to the new command - no, each branch of the military develops its own drones. But now all drones can unite in a single system for certain combat operations, all drones and operators can be concentrated, planned and applied together. They can also coordinate the provision and development of technical means.

The command must study and analyze the actions of enemy drone units, study the characteristics of enemy drones, and produce technical development tasks for industry.

The drone operations command will have been fully formed and operational by the end of 2023.

The creation of the drone command is the result of the development of South Korea’s new military strategy aimed at ensuring the country's security by outpacing potential adversaries in all elements of combat capability, and above all, in terms of planning and management.

Let me remind you that North Korea is South Korea's adversary, and the countries have been at war since 1950. The use of drones by North Korea, which develops drones together with Russia and Iran, caused a systemic reaction from the South Korean leadership.

South Korean President Yoon Seok Yeol said that the Drone Operations Command would play a key role in countering all kinds of asymmetric threats for his country.

I’ve repeatedly written and spoken about the need to create such an Operations Command in the Armed Forces of Ukraine (original version is here.)

The breakthrough of Ukrainian drones

1. 2023 was the last year of the war, when both sides tried to break through the front by concentrating masses of infantry, tanks, and artillery.

2. All elements of a defense breakthrough: isolation of the combat area, counter-battery warfare, demining, mining, infiltration, and the destruction of small and single targets should be done primarily by drones with the help of other types of weapons.

3. Drones are no longer a means of supplying troops. These troops should become the means of supplying drones, aircraft, tanks, infantry, artillery - all these must be attached to drones. 

4. Drones should become the weapon of every unit - from infantry and sappers to the commander of the JFO, and each unit and above should have positions of operators of drones and anti-drone systems of their level.

5. Large armies should be subordinated in their actions to the capabilities of drones and anti-drone systems, and human tactics should be tied to drone tactics at all levels.

6. Drones and anti-drones are one and the same and should be used in an integrated manner, developed and trained together.

7. Great generals will not be able to achieve victory unless they start looking at the battlefield through the eyes of a drone and anti-drone operator.

8. Drones and anti-drone systems should become a new branch of the military, as technological changes occur every month, a system that responds to the challenges of the future is needed.

9. The number is not decisive. The winner will be the one who is better at organizing, providing, planning, employing and managing drones and anti-drone systems.

10. In order to destroy enemy armies and save lives of our people, we need to learn how to manage an army of drones.

This is dictated by the experience of our war.

However, Ukraine, unlike South Korea, has no modern military strategy. The Commander-in-Chief and the Minister of Defense are engaged mostly in PR, public speaking, purchasing eggs and jackets via their friends, nephews and party comrades, therefore, despite the terrible war and human losses in Ukraine, "wedding drones" are developed by enthusiasts, volunteers and the Ministry of Digitalization. The role of drones is not defined in the organizational and staff structure of the army, orders, statutes and tactics, we fight with people where we must fight with drones. All hopes for the power of Facebook and the media, which should force the authorities to make changes and, in addition to words about drones, start taking systemic steps - learn at least from the Korean government, they are responsible people in terms of defense, who professionally care about the country's security.

Yuriy Butusov

Ukraine Front Lines

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