The Point Mugu base is technically just outside of Malibu—barely—but we're going to go with Malibu Drone Base[...]I talked to the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, which had plenty to say about the upcoming drone playground, which is just one of "several bases throughout the world" the Navy wants. Each will host Tritons, with Point Mugu boasting four, conducting around five missions every single day. That's over 1,800 takeoffs or landings every year, from the Malibu spot alone. The goal is 24/7 surveillance—an American eye over the water at all times, during wartime, during peacetime, and all the time[...] With bases like Drone Zone Malibu, the Navy will be able to remotely "fly out over the open ocean, find and track ships, targets of interest. That could be potential adversaries, terrorists, whatever the [Navy] needs [to find]." So: an omnipresent maritime eye could spot potential threats—or anything, really—over the waters, and then beam back electronic signatures and video streams to the mainland, where the next step will be made. The Triton isn't an armed drone, but if it spotted something spooky, it could call in some death from above—whether that be a warplane or just another drone.[...]
There will be drones in California, drones in Texas, drones in Paris, all part of the Pentagon's vision of reshaping its military omnipresence around "lily pads"—light, decentralized bases that house specialized forces and, of course, drones.