• CDR Josh Dittmar
  • United States Navy
  • Holden Auditorium (Room 112)
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Robert Canfield


Billed as the answer for fulfilling Dull, Dirty and Dangerous missions, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are a relatively mature technology currently used for military and homeland security purposes and poised for rapid growth and transition to support many other government and commercial sectors.  This brief provides an overview of UAS, addresses seven UAS problem areas, and describes the challenges in UAS Design, Test and Employment with an emphasis on integrated system design and human systems integration.  An additional case study is presented on the first combined employment of UAS during Operation Unified Protector, the NATO mission concerning the Libyan Civil War in 2011.


Commander Josh “Tree” Dittmar is currently Government Flight Test Director for the MQ-8B Fire Scout Unmanned Aircraft System.  A graduate of the Naval Academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology, he has been involved in the UAS operational and developmental test since 2009.  Reporting to VX-1 at NAS Patuxent River in 2009, CDR Dittmar served as the UAS Department Head, leading the operational test efforts for four UAS test teams including MQ-4C Triton, RQ-21A Blackjack, Cargo Resupply UAS, and MQ-8B Fire Scout. In 2011, he reported to NATO Air Command in Izmir, Turkey where he served as an Exercise Planner and UAS expert.  Qualified in the MQ-8B Fire Scout as an Air Vehicle Operator, CDR Dittmar previously served in two P-3C Orion squadrons (VP-9 and VP-10), flying over 2,000 flight hours as a Naval Flight Officer in support of Counter Drug Operations from Puerto Rico and Panama, Anti-Submarine Operations from Iceland, Operation Allied Forge from Sicily, and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom from Iraq, Qatar and Bahrain.  In 2012, he led a test team to complete the CNO-mandated MQ-8B integration with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II), the first forward-firing weapons integration of a Naval UAS and currently leads efforts to test the Navy’s first rotary-wing UAS radar integration. He has 8 wonderful kids and 1 amazing wife, and flies a 3DR Solo quadcopter in his spare time as a drone hobbyist.