USAF Says Uncle on UAVs

The Air Force will drop its long quest to be named executive agent for unmanned aerial vehicles, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in an interview Dec. 22. The issue of having the Air Force serve as the DOD executive agent for larger, higher-flying UAVs—an idea championed by the previous two CSAFs—has become “too emotional” and was creating hard feelings among the services that were getting in the way of developing an orderly division of labor for unmanned aircraft, Schwartz said. Instead, he said the Air Force will stick to the template of joint UAV ops, managed through the UAV Center of Excellence, to coordinate doctrine. On individual programs, Schwartz said, efficiencies are being found: The Air Force and Navy are consolidating much of their Global Hawk/broad area maritime surveillance activities, and USAF and the Army will find common ground on a Predator-like vehicle.