Insatiable Appetite for Full-Motion Video:

The Pentagon’s acquisition community faces a 300 percent annual increase in the requests for overhead full-motion video to support ground operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, USA Today reported March 25. Currently the demand for FMV, which is provided by platforms including the Air Force’s MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle, outpaces the supply by 4:1, the newspaper said, citing Office of the Secretary of Defense officials. Although OSD has increased the number of UAVs deployed to the combat theater in the past five years from 167 to 5,331, the supply remains inadequate, the newspaper said. As a result, anti-coalition insurgents continue to plant and detonate roadside bombs—still the biggest killer of US forces—with relative impunity, the newspaper said, citing military officials and documents. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has made getting as many Predators into combat as possible one of his top priorities.