Officially, there is still an unarmed US reconnaissance airplane missing since last week when US and NATO officials say operators lost control of this remotely piloted aircraft during a mission over western Afghanistan. “We haven’t recovered the drone that we believe is missing,” said Navy Capt. John Kirby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, during a Pentagon briefing Thursday. Unofficially, however, US defense and intelligence officials are telling US media outlets that the secret intelligence-gathering aircraft went down in eastern Iran and that the Iranians have indeed recovered it. The claims are that this RPA—allegedly the Lockheed Martin-built stealthy RQ-170 Sentinel—went down due to a malfunction. Conversely, the Iranians are boasting that they brought the aircraft down via a mobile jamming system that disrupted its communications links with its remote controllers. On Thursday, Iranian state television showed off what the Iranians assert is the recovered RQ-170 looking relatively intact, for full propaganda effect. Continue
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.