Although a cornerstone of modern U.S. military operations, unmanned drone aircraft actually came into extensive use as far back as the Vietnam War. It was then that the U.S. began conducting the very first real-time remote controlled communications intelligence collection missions using jet-powered drones, nicknamed “Lightning Bugs,” in North Vietnam. A diverse line-up of advanced drones was subsequently kept a secret from the public for years as the U.S. used them to conduct reconnaissance missions on its enemies.
So drones aren't new; just smaller, more maneuverable, capable of real time communication with ground troops, able to see small detailed details, and less costly. Kudos to the men of yesterday for the technology of today.