Son of Executive Agency

The Air Force is drafting a proposal for a new concept of operations for theater intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, deputy chief of staff for ISR, said Tuesday in Washington at AFA’s annual Air & Space Conference. The problems with command and control, and the need to get more bang out of all the services’ ISR assets drove the Air Force to seek executive agency for unmanned aircraft, Deptula said. However, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England’s decision to create a series of joint committees for UAVs, rather than make the Air Force the executive agent, didn’t address all the ISR issues, Deptula said. “There’s more work to be done,” he said. (Air Combat Command boss Gen. Ron Keys agrees and says the situation is in the hands of committees, whose work he likens to “cul-de-sacs down which good ideas are lured, then quietly strangled.”)