FPD Chile hosts first drone seminar

  • Published
  • By SAIC Carlos Vargas
  • Force Protection Detachment, Chile

Air Force Office of Special Investigations Force Protection Detachment, Chile, hosted the first Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Seminar with the Carabineros de Chile (Chile’s uniformed police; preventive) and the Policia de Investigaciones (PDI-Chile’s Investigative Police) at four Southern California law enforcement locations and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Southwest Field Office May 20-24, 2019. 

During a meeting with FPD Chile and subsequently with AFOSI senior leaders, General Ignacio Villarubia, former Intelligence Director of the Carabineros de Chile, requested support regarding UAS programs and equipment. General Villarrubia was looking for a system that would provide the versatility to operate in the diverse topographical and climate environment. 

After a tour of the Carabineros de Chile’s Aerial Prefecture, and specifically the UAS section, FPD Chile coordinated with the NCIS South West Field Office, which immediately contacted various police departments who agreed to share their experience with the Chilean Law Enforcement agencies.

The civilian participants were: the Chula Vista PD, Calif., San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Calif., Corona PD, Calif., and LAPD, Los Angeles, Calif.

The Carabineros and PDI gave a brief of their programs at each location and received a briefing and demonstration (from selected agencies) about their respective programs. The presentations included: research, equipment, application, operational experience (number of operations and logged flight time), policy development, training, aviation and investigative laws concerning the use of UAS and lessons learned.

Based on the briefings provided by all the participants, the Carabineros de Chile have a well-established program and have more operations and flight hours than the closest police department visited during the trip.  

The Carabineros and PDI use UAS in combination with other aircraft/techniques to compliment each other’s use. For example, when the Carabineros get involved in a search and rescue mission, they deploy the UAS to locate the victims and after pinpointing the location they deploy a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft to perform the rescue portion of the operation. Meanwhile, the PDI uses cell triangulation in conjunction with the drones to locate suspects. These examples demonstrate how both agencies use available technology to maximize the effectiveness of their UAS programs. 

Thanks to the coordination by the NCIS agent assigned to FPD Chile, the participation of the NCIS Southwest Field Office and the civilian law enforcement agencies, the successful event was very informative and demonstrated a capability that could greatly benefit the FPD mission in Chile.