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Air Force ISR ‘Flight Plan,’ Industry Day Coming: Stealth, Space, Cyber, & AI

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: The Air Force is finalizing a high-tech “flight plan” for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance investments, the deputy chief of staff for ISR said here. The service can’t keep buying more and more drones to collect more and more data and then hiring more and more human analysts to plow through it, Lt. Gen.… Keep reading →

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Reaper Drones: The New Close Air Support Weapon

Posted by Colin Clark on


CORRECTS: Name and title of operations group commander CREECH AIR FORCE BASE: Over two days of briefings here by everyone from pilots to maintainers to the operations group commander of the 432nd Wing, one message rang out loud and clear: the Reaper has grown into a key Close Air Support (CAS) tool for the US military and… Keep reading →

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Long-Range Strike: ‘More Potent,’ More Survivable & Cheaper

Posted by David Deptula on


On January 19, the Air Force struck Libya to halt terrorist activity using B-2 stealth bombers. This was not the first strike against Libya. A mix of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy fighters conducted strikes 30 years ago against Libya in response to terrorist acts in Europe. A comparison of the two raids illustrates the… Keep reading →

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Top 25 Cuts To NDAA: $5B In Fuel, People, Readiness, & Weapons Detailed

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. graphic

WASHINGTON: The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have found the $5 billion in cuts required under the budget deal. As HASC chairman Mac Thornberry promised, some of them are painful. The committees released the detailed list Tuesday after close of business, formatted into categories only a legislative aide could love, such as “Increases to… Keep reading →

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Drones Need Humans, Badly; Pilots Getting More Dough

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Even unmanned aircraft need people to make them fly. Today, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced stopgap measures to shore up overworked drone squadrons. At the same press conference, the service’s Chief of Staff pledged to plug another personnel gap, the shortage of skilled maintainers for the manned F-35 — but, Gen. Mark… Keep reading →

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Gen. Carlisle ‘Extremely Concerned’ About Drone Force

Posted by Colin Clark on


Air Force photo

WASHINGTON: The Air Force has worried for almost a decade about the strains on its workforce as it fields more and more Predators, because drones need more people to fly them than do manned aircraft. Now, the head of Air Combat Command has told his boss, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, that he is “extremely concerned” about… Keep reading →

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DoD IG Criticizes Air Force Reaper Buy

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Head of Air Force ISR, Lt. Gen. Otto,  Says IG Info Out of Date WASHINGTON: The Air Force planned to buy 401 Reaper drones for $76.8 billion but didn’t know why it was going to buy that many, the Pentagon’s Inspector General says in a new report. “This occurred because Air Combat Command officials did not: follow… Keep reading →

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