WEUAS | Wounded Eagle Unmanned Autonomous Systems
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Who is WEUAS?

We are military veterans and civilians dedicated to giving our wounded and disabled veteran brothers and sisters a hand up and a path into the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and ROV (remotely operated vehicle) industry.

What is our mission?

To provide the tools and training necessary for our wounded and disabled veterans to become skilled and qualified sUAV/ROV operators.

Who are we training?

We will be focused on veterans who possess a VA card, a military disability rating, a current driver’s license, and Academy of Model Aeronautics membership to enter the WEUAS program.

What are we going to teach?

The course will cover 5 levels of training. We will begin from the ground up to develop their knowledge and skill in operating a UAV, starting with the safety rules and regulations provided by the AMA and the FAA, we will give them a solid understanding of how to fly safely and effectively. After that, we train them to fly a quadcopter (450mm class). If they are able to fly to our standards, we then take them into the parts and pieces of a multirotor and how they all work together. Starting with basic electricity, we follow up with the power system, we’ll then work our way to the different propeller pitches, brushless motors, electronic speed controllers, and flight control boards. Once completed, we’ll teach them to build, maintain, operate, and repair their multirotor in the field. We will also include a technician certificate course to cover FCC frequency usage as a HAM operator.

Benefits from our training

Not only will our teammates benefit from a new career in the UAS industry, but also the joy and therapy flying can bring to them. Think about someone confined to a wheelchair and what this would do for their standard of living and quality of life?

Industry and Job outlook

The UAS industry outlook is breathtaking, we are in the golden age of UAV’s and ROV’s. The opportunities are limitless for careers, jobs, and start-ups for our team and shipmates. Just about every industrial sector will be effected by the introduction of UAV’s and ROV’s into service. As of August 29th, the FAA now has a test certification (14CFR Part 107) for sUAS operators which does not require a pilot’s license.

How we are going to train Wounded and disabled Veterans?

Our course structure is simple, half the time is spent in a class room environment and the other half (if not more) is spent out in the field gaining flight time/hours. Upon completion of our course, the student will receive the multirotor they built, the tools they used to make and repair it, and also the batteries, a charger, transmitter, receiver, and misc. parts for their multirotor.

Market forecast

The UAS/ROV industry is growing exponentially as companies discover new uses for drones. The Market forecast is that the UAS industry is expected to require tens of thousands of operators. Business Insider has it that… Enterprise Drones shipments, also known as commercial drones, will reach 805,000 in 2021, a CAGR of 51%, compared with 5% growth on the military side.

Mentors and Internship

We need others of like mind to make this all work. We need the business community to step up and make a difference in a person deserving of their support.

Corporate Training

There are federal funds available for employers to train veterans for their new job position and to bring them up to speed with any proprietary systems the company supports.

Local Support

We need your involvement with WEUAS, we’re all a team with one goal, giving our wounded And disabled veteran teammates a hand up into the UAS and ROV industry. Our guys paid the 2nd highest price our great country can ask of its people, don’t we owe it to them to show we appreciate what they’ve done and accomplished? What they’ve sacrificed? They did their job, now join WEUAS and help us with our job training our wounded veterans to be more than they thought they could ever be again.

Board Members & Crew


Joseph Dorando, Chief Executive Officer

Joseph Dorando (U.S. Navy enlisted.) is a retired civilian IT Specialist of the El Monte Police Department. His duties included the assisting in the original construction and maintenance of the police dept. network and the city wide phone system, microwave system, and just about anything with a wire attached. Other duties included web designer for the PD and audio video service for the city hall meetings. Previous to that, Joe worked as a PBX engineer for over twenty years including OCONUS service for military contractors. Involved in technology Mr. Dorando knew after the first drone reports started coming in from Afghanistan and Iraq that UAV’s were the future and law enforcement just got a new tool on their duty belt. Thinking of the many other aspects of unmanned aerial vehicles, it wasn’t long before Mr. Dorando knew there would be a huge civilian job market for commercial operators of UAV’s and that lead to the idea and importance of creating Wounded Eagle UAS to train wounded and disabled veterans to build, fly, operate, and repair UAV’s and become successful as career UAS operators.
George Meyer

George Meyer, Advisor

George Meyer, US Army Lieutenant Colonel, Retired – Over 28 years of global service.  George enlisted in the early 1980’s into Air Defense Artillery, serving in Germany as a Fire Control Crewmember and a “Stinger” Missile Crewmember.  He then served in the Hawaii National Guard as an Infantry Platoon leader on the island of Kauai. Commissioned in the Hawaii Army National Guard in 1993; he was able to become Airborne, Air Assault and Pathfinder qualified. He then served as an Infantry Company Commander for Bravo Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, in Pago Pago, American Samoa.  


Steve Dykhouse

Steve Dykhouse, Advisor

Steve Dykhouse (USMC Ret.) is the President of Unmanned Systems Integration and is employed full time as a Department of Defense air traffic controller at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.  Steve has over 24 years’ experience with ATC.  He is also the UAS airspace access coordinator and the ATC liaison for counter drone efforts at the base.  His experience also includes 6 years in the Marines as a turboprop propulsion mechanic, multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan on active duty and as a contractor.
Steve has a BS in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is working on his Master of Science in Aeronautics with a concentration in Small UAS operations and Airspace Management.  He also teaches with the Los Angeles County Regional Training Center as co-lead for the counter drone course and in support of their other UAS related education.
Tim Houston

Lt Col Timothy Richard Houston, Advisor

Lt Col Houston is a 2012 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and was commissioned through Officer Training School. Lt Col Houston has over 4000 flying hours in the C-130e/h1, MQ-1B, MQ-9A, RQ-170, T-44, and T-37. He has served as Executive Officer, Scheduler, Airlift Director, Exercise Planner, Operations Supervisor, Safety Officer, ADO, Flight Commander, and Deployed Detachment Commander. Lt Col Houston is currently Chief, RPA Programs & Requirements, HQ AFRC and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Dean Barefield

Dean Barefield, Advisor

An experienced Program Manager and military Veteran. Dean entered the United States Army in 1996 and enjoyed a military career spanning more than 22 years, serving the last 12 years as an AH-64D “Attack Helicopter” pilot and a UAS Technical Warrant Officer.
As a UAS Technical Officer, he was responsible for integrating UAS in support of full spectrum military operations. Dean is a Part 107 certified remote pilot and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He is also a member of the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) Working Group and the Energy Drone & Robotics Coalition.
As a UAS Program Manager, Dean leverages his prior experiences to successfully integrate UAS in support of the utility industry.
Monica England

Monica England, Advisor

Ms. Monica England has been working in the Aviation and Aerospace industry since 2003, specifically in Unmanned Systems.
During her 17 years’ experience, Ms. England has worked for organizations that have been critical to the growth and development for both defense and commercial unmanned platforms such as the San Diego Wind Tunnel, Planck Aerosystems, Empirical Systems Aerospace and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.


Niall M Twomey

Niall M. Twomey, Advisor

CW5 Niall M. Twomey hails from County Cork, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States in May 1998, and joined the U.S. Army shortly afterwards. Upon receiving his citizenship in 2004, Niall was selected to become a Warrant Officer, and in 2005 he became a 350K (now 150U) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Technician and has been performing in this role ever since.


Paul Ruffin, Advisor

36+ year business management and IT professional with a background in international and information sciences specializing in business development, management
systems and technology integration. As a business analyst and enterprise system adept at solving problems and integrating technology into current business in a cost effective and reliable way. 25-year emphasis in business modeling, architectures, telecommunications, disaster recovery and business development. business environments I have worked in include banking, real estate, mortgage health & social services, international trade, manufacturing, construction, public and education.


Brian Soliday

Brian Soliday, Advisor

Brian Soliday has 30 years of extensive experience working in sales, marketing and channel within the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing. He  currently serves as Sales Executive for 1Spatial. has presented technical papers at over 75 events on six continents and has written articles in; Eastman’s Bowhunting Journal, Planning, Point of Beginning, The World & I, GEOEurope, Arc News, Space News, and Earth Observation He graduated Summa cum laude with a MA degree in geography specializing in sensing and GIS in 1987, and earned a BS degree in geography in 1983. Both degrees earned from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).