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Bad Idea: Armed Drones in West Africa

Posted by Alice Hunt Friend on


We’re partnering with the Center for Strategic and International Studies to bring you their fab Bad Ideas series through the Christmas holiday season. We don’t usually pay much attention to this sort of operational policy decision — where to operate and with what — but each new location for drone operations can mean a larger… Keep reading →

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Create Executive Agent For Drones: AFA’s Mitchell Institute

Posted by David Deptula on


Drones are designed and bought by the four services, as well as DARPA and, we suspect, an intelligence agency or two. There’s duplication of effort and requirements overlap and that means wasted money and time. Many moons ago in 1993, when drones were just becoming a thing in the US military, some visionaries created 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


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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How To Cut Predator, Reaper UAV Crew In Half: Lt. Gen. Otto

Posted by Richard Whittle on


PENTAGON CITY: The dirty secret of so-called “unmanned” systems is they require a whole lot of men — and women — to operate them. They’re just back at base, running things remotely, rather than hands-on in the aircraft. With the Air Force drone community overworked and undermanned, the service’s intelligence chief has suggested a Solomonic… Keep reading →

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SecAF James: Hill Refusal To Retire Planes May Force F-35, LRSB, KC-46 Delays

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James warned Congress today that its effort to stop the retirement of the A-10 Warthog and other aircraft could hurt the service’s modernization plans. In a speech before the National Aeronautic Association, James noted the service wants “to transfer and divest some older aircraft in order to free up… 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


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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300 US Advisors Heading To Iraq; Obama Pledges To Eye ‘Mission Creep’

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama today outlined a careful commitment of US forces to Iraq, pledging to watch any “mission creep” as he sends an initial 300 special operations advisors to gauge the strengths, weaknesses and cohesiveness of Iraq’s security forces as they battle the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The U.S., Obama… Keep reading →

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2015 DoD Budget: OGSI Fund Buys 2 Additional F-35s, P-8s, Army Helos

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: With Congressional Staff Reaction PENTAGON: With an eye on a Congress it hopes will cut it some slack, the Obama Defense Department today released a budget remarkable for its apparent insouciance, trimming the base budget by only $400 million from the 2014 budget passed by Congress. However, there is a catch. The most politically… Keep reading →

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