Preparing for the Inevitable

Teams at the Air Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., are developing the means to oppose enemy unmanned aerial vehicles in the battlespace, says Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, commander of 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern. “When, in the future, we encounter a near-peer or asymmetric threat, or a terrorist organization that has [UAV] capability, we’re going to certainly need to be working toward active techniques so that we can counter those capabilities,” Seip told reporters during a teleconference Jan. 12. Among his portfolio as 12th AF commander, Seip oversees the 432nd Wing at Creech AFB, Nev., that operates the service’s MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles. Seip said the Air Force currently has 85 percent of its theater-level UAVs, including the Predators and Reapers, deployed for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The remaining 15 percent are stateside for use as training and test assets. (AFPS report by Megan Orton)