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NOAA UAS Program Hosts National Tribal Interest Group for UAS Webinar

The NOAA UAS Program and DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) co-hosted the quarterly meeting of the Tribal Interest Group for UAS on April 19th.

The NOAA UAS Program and DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) co-hosted the quarterly meeting of the Tribal Interest Group for UAS on April 19th. Several tribal and non-tribal representatives were present and discussed current Native American UAS operations, future concepts of operations and STEM opportunities. 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for the administration and management of 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates held in trust by the United States for American Indian, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) provides education services to approximately 42,000 Indian students. 

The Tribal Interest Group for UAS discussed: 

  • Current Tribal UAS operations and support functions for those present
  • Opportunities to share best practices and lessons learned in this domain
  • Areas of interest from the Tribal communities and possible common missions
  • STEM opportunities and paths forward

The Meeting Agenda 

  • Welcome & Introductions – JC Coffey, Cherokee Nation 
  • Briefing on the U.S. Department of Interior, Director of the Office of Aviation Services (OAS), Mark L. Bathrick  
  • XPONENTIAL Reception, Wrap-Up and Closing Remarks – JC Coffey, Cherokee Nation

Speaker’s Bio
Mark L. Bathrick was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and became Director of the Office of Aviation Services (OAS) in the Department of the Interior (DOI) on November, 1, 2005. OAS is responsible for the safe, efficient, and economical operation of all aircraft activities in support of all DOI Bureaus and, through individual agreements, to other federal entities.

Prior to joining DOI, Mr. Bathrick completed a distinguished career with the United States Navy, retiring as a Captain.  A decorated Naval Aviator and Test Pilot, Mr. Bathrick logged over 3,700 flight hours and more than 800 arrested landings aboard ten different aircraft carriers during numerous overseas deployments.  A graduate of the prestigious Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and the British Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS), he has flown over 40 different types of military and civilian fixed wing, rotary wing, and lighter-than-air aircraft, having qualified as pilot-in-command in 12 different models.  Mr. Bathrick is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) and holds an FAA commercial instrument, multi-engine pilot rating.

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