The Air Force on Friday hosted a meeting with officials from the combatant commands and DOD to discuss USAF’s controversial proposal to become the executive agent for higher flying unmanned aerial vehicles. (USAF had invited other service representatives, but a spokesman confirmed on April 19 that none showed.) Col. Charlie Bartlett, USAF deputy director for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capabilities, called the session “very productive,” saying attendees had been forthcoming about their concerns. The Army, in particular, has criticized the Air Force proposal, prompting USAF officials to try to dispel any notion of some kind of power play. Lt. Gen. David Deptula, ISR point man on the Air Staff, told attendees that the Air Force plan would “ensure the most efficient use of DOD resources” and maximize standardization and integration of UAV systems, providing seamless capability to the warfighter.
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.