Army Pushes Back

At today’s House Armed Services Air and Land panel hearing, Army officials plan to rebut the Air Force drive to become executive agent for unmanned aerial vehicles that fly at 3,500 feet or higher, reports The Hill. The Air Force has been pitching the effort as a means to reduce redundancy and cost and ensure greater safety of flight. According to The Hill, the memo Gen. Michael Moseley, USAF Chief of Staff, sent last month to the Joint Chiefs of Staffs and combatant commanders outlining his reasoning was bumped to the Joint Requirements Council, which had summarily rejected the same UAV suggestion made by the Air Force in 2005. This time around, though, the Air Force has sought Congressional backing—and has gotten some from lawmakers whose states stand to gain. The Army, which also has some lawmakers in its corner, plans to counter redundancy and cost arguments with operational concerns. But the Air Force also has operational concerns. Stay tuned.