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Unmanned system experts focus on tribal operations and support


TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Technologies’ leading unmanned systems (UXS) expert, John “JC” Coffey is helping shift the industry’s focus onto the rapidly growing success of tribally owned companies and their role in supporting the drone age.

The recently formed Tribal Interest Group for Unmanned Systems, co-founded by Coffey, is working to increase awareness and participation of tribal entities in the research, development, operations and education of unmanned systems through collaborative workshops.

The workshops are held regularly to discuss unmanned system operations, support functions, interest, mission possibilities, STEM opportunities and future steps for tribal communities, as well as to share best practices and lessons learned within the domain.

Membership and participation in the meetings and quarterly webinars is open to any individual or members of government, academia or industry with tribal interests.

“We’re employing ongoing partnerships to accelerate UAS-deployed sensors to fill important National observational gaps. By approaching these challenges with a multifaceted team, we leverage our combined agencies’ successes and resources to accelerate national UAS enterprise,” said Coffey. “During these workshops, we also explore rapid response tactics during emergencies like volcanic eruptions, wildfires and hurricanes, as well as how to use new tools such as artificial intelligence to accelerate the uses of UAS data.”

Coffey, a retired Naval aviator and Department of Defense acquisition professional, joined CNT in 2014 and was named to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International board of directors in 2017 shortly before helping co-found the Tribal Interest Group for Unmanned Systems.

Cherokee Nation Businesses’ team of UXS operating companies, including Cherokee Nation Technologies, identify observational requirements that UXS capabilities can address by providing unique, affordable and reliable data from any required perspective. CNT provides a full spectrum of unmanned systems expertise, IT services, technology solutions and geospatial information systems services, as well as management and support of programs, projects, professionals and technical staff.

Since 2009, the company has been serving government clients with time-tested solutions that increase client effectiveness through the intelligent use of technology. CNT is headquartered in Tulsa, with a regional office in Fort Collins, Colorado, and client locations nationwide.

For more information or to join the Tribal Interest Group for Unmanned Systems, please contact John “JC’ Coffey, executive director of Unmanned Systems for Cherokee Nation Technologies at​. Learn more about unmanned systems by visiting the U.S. Geological Survey National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office at