The Air National Guard wings that resisted transferring from fighter jets to remotely piloted aircraft have embraced the new, highly relevant mission, National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel said Wednesday. “I saw many former F-16 units go kicking and screaming into the Predator mission, and now you can’t go to one of these places and they won’t tell you we regret resisting this,” he told the Defense Writers Group in Washington, D.C. “They feel like they are engaged in direct combat operations every day … they have transitioned and they have taken to the mission seamlessly.” Lengyel said the Guard has used innovative scheduling to create a sustainable battle rhythm with shorter hours than Active Duty RPA pilots, limiting the impact on its members’ quality of life. (See also: Guard Predator Wing Reaches 100,000 Hours.)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.