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The Army Does It Differently
The Strategy Page ^ | 12/24/2010 | The Strategy Page

Posted on 12/24/2010 10:27:22 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

The U.S. Army is now receiving UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) similar to those used by the air force, but flown under different conditions, by a quite different type of crew. While air force Predators and Reapers are flown by officers, assisted by sergeants operating sensors, the army operators are mostly sergeants, with some warrant officers. The air force operators control their UAVs via satellite link from a base in the United States. Only the ground crews go overseas. But army operators and ground crews not only go overseas, but are assigned to a specific brigade, which they are a part of. That makes a big difference. When an army UAV operator provides overhead surveillance for troops, he often knows some of them. Even if he doesn't know them personally, he knows they are part of his brigade, and if anything goes very right, or wrong, he might receive a personal visit from those involved. With the air force operators, it's a job. With the army operators, it's personal. For this reason, the army has refused air force calls for all heavy (over one ton) UAVs to be pooled. The air force cannot understand the personal angle, but for the army and marines it's essential. Moreover, when there's a victory out there because of UAVs, it is for all to see in the UAV operations center, on big, flat screen displays. The response among the UAV operators is emotional, just as it is, in a more somber way, if there are problems down there.

(Excerpt) Read more at strategypage.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; predator; reapers; uav; usarmy

1 posted on 12/24/2010 10:27:25 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

Interesting!


2 posted on 12/24/2010 10:39:53 PM PST by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

The Army and Marines... using common sense, again.


3 posted on 12/24/2010 10:42:30 PM PST by upchuck (When excerpting please use the entire 300 words we are allowed. No more one or two sentence posts!)
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

Interesting. I forwarded the story on to my wonderful DH.


4 posted on 12/24/2010 10:45:10 PM PST by PERKY2004 (Proud wife of a military pilot ~ Please pray for him (he's deployed to Iraq))
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld
With the air force pooling resources is only a good idea when they need something, like control over Navy logistics aircraft. It is never a good idea when they might have to turn over something, like UAVs in this case.

personally I like the idea of officer mission commanders, at least, because I don't want enlisted guys getting in trouble trying to meet the ROE criteria for remote weapons employment. It isn't a superiority thing, it is a looking out for the kids thing. You know if they screw up they are going to get hammered.

5 posted on 12/24/2010 10:46:10 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: upchuck

This year, army brigades overseas began receiving the new 1,500 kg MQ-1C UAV. Called Gray Eagle, until recently it was informally known as the Sky Warrior. This UAV will supplement, and eventually replace the current 159 kg/350 pound Shadow 200s. These aircraft carry day and night cameras, and laser designators, but usually no weapons. Most of the new army heavy UAVs delivered over the next five years will missile carrying MQ-1Cs. By 2015, the army will have over 500 MQ-1Cs.
*

Deadly and easy to replace. The next war will be flown with these guys supporting ground troops. At least there wont be a DADT gay UAV..


6 posted on 12/24/2010 10:47:14 PM PST by max americana
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

The USN is not plannng on using officers as UAV drivers and are going with senior enlisted as well. For a while the USAF wanted 1000hr pilots to drive UAVs, but seems to have backed off a bit from that.


7 posted on 12/24/2010 10:51:29 PM PST by Starwolf
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

Just let the Gunney Sarges and other NCO’s free & loose to defend our nation (& indeed the Western world) and there is little about which to worry.


8 posted on 12/24/2010 11:05:25 PM PST by dodger
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld
I hate to pile on, being a former zoomie, but Army has this right, and AF has it wrong. CAS needs to be in the hands of the organic units on the ground. Not some hotshot supersonic jet jock.

CAP? AF all the way. Own the airspace so the low and slow can support the ground pounders. Bombs don't win wars. Bombs enable ground forces to more quickly shoot, move and communicate. But bombs by themselves don't win wars.

Boots on the ground taking and holding territory, and imposing our will wins wars.

/johnny

9 posted on 12/24/2010 11:25:16 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Johnny I trained hard with the Force. We are pretty damn smart and do ground force very hard.


10 posted on 12/24/2010 11:28:05 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: max americana

“Deadly and easy to replace.”

Deadly, yes, easy to replace?????

Actually, General Atomics can’t make them fast enough, which is why there are more of the MC-12’s coming into the Afghan theatre.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20090415.aspx

The demand is large.


11 posted on 12/24/2010 11:30:20 PM PST by Puckster
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To: Puckster

Don’t say nothing. Merry Christmas!


12 posted on 12/24/2010 11:36:44 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: eyedigress
Back in 1980-84, during my first enlistment, I would have agreed with you.

During my second elistment, 18 years later (after 9-11, by the hair of my chinny, chin chin, based on age and waivers), and the whole Joint Task Force thing.... I gained some perspective. AF can't take care of Army boots or Marine boots nearly as well as Army or Marine close air support can. A Marine FAC on the ground with Marines talking to Marine pilots can do a better job than an AF para-jumper on the ground with Marines talking to Navy pilots. Although interservice operability is very important.

Personal opinion. But considered opinion.

Being older my second enlistment, I really read all the books on the NCO reading list, did the war college remote thing, and thought hard about logistics, strategy, and tactics.

I firmly believe USAF should own the airspace over the battlefield and let the organic units on the ground do close air support. Their guys, taking care of their guys.

Specialty stuff, like dropping the new SDBs from Angels 30 and hitting literally in the pickle barrel can be done by USAF. But low and slow needs to be Army or Marine. Supporting their own boots. AF has a role. But it needs to be tailored.

/johnny

13 posted on 12/24/2010 11:42:47 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Johnny I am old school FAC.. I took over the ranges in Southern Arizona AND taught those fighters how to hit. I get sick and tired of anyone telling the AF what or how to do it.

Merry Christmas!


14 posted on 12/24/2010 11:51:08 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: eyedigress

“Don’t say nothing.”

Here’s me saying nothing:

The Lord Bless you!


15 posted on 12/24/2010 11:52:21 PM PST by Puckster
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To: Puckster

Merry Christmas to you!


16 posted on 12/24/2010 11:59:36 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: USNBandit

When has the USAF ever tried to control USN logistics aircraft?


17 posted on 12/25/2010 12:00:34 AM PST by TankerKC (Part of the Soros funded Blog Police.)
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To: USNBandit
Preventing the dilution of airpower runs very strong in Air Force doctrine, and for good reason. (The Luftwaffe's misuse use during WWII provides a prime example.) And that's a large part of why CAS should primary be left as an internal function of the Army and Marines. CAP, strat airlift, strat bombing, etc, missions leave more than enough work for the Air Force.

I have to agree on your take with on letting the O's command. It's not that there aren't E's who could do the job, but the level of responsibly involved is literally above their pay grade.

18 posted on 12/25/2010 1:19:16 AM PST by Red Dog #1
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

The AF doesn’t like to get it’s hands dirty or roughed up for that matter.They are a force whose members are decidedly tilted toward the more cerebral among us.

Did you know there is even a hand cream dispenser in the cockpits of the aircraft?


19 posted on 12/25/2010 2:09:07 AM PST by 101voodoo
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To: 101voodoo
Did you know there is even a hand cream dispenser in the cockpits of the aircraft?

That may be true, but I couldn't help but notice when I went to an Air Force base for my last PT test, no towels were provided in the gym. I've never seen an Army gym that doesn't provide towels.

20 posted on 12/25/2010 4:06:43 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld
The third member of the Predator family is the MQ-9 Reaper. This is a 4.7 ton, 11 meter/36 foot long aircraft with a 20 meter/66 foot wingspan that looks like the MQ-1. It has six hard points, and can carry about a ton (2,400 pounds) of weapons. These include Hellfire missiles (up to eight), two Sidewinder or two AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, two Maverick missiles, or two 227 kg/500 pound smart bombs (laser or GPS guided.) Max speed is 400 kilometers an hour, and max endurance is 15 hours. The Reaper is considered a combat aircraft, to replace F-16s or A-10s in ground support missions.

Once again our Air Force is showing its apparent distain for ground support. Replace the A-10 with this thing? The UAV doesn’t even have a gun!
In Viet Nam we loved the old A-1 Skyraider. It could hang around for hours and carried a good bomb load along with four 20 mm cannons. If the fast flyers were sent to help us they’d fly in, drop their load and fly back to rearm/refuel.
Our Air Force is in love with high and fast. Low and slow works much better for ground support. It also wants everything that flys under its control. Back in the early 60s all Army fixed wing aircraft were turned over to the Air Force. It’s the same with our Navy – now they want to take over all Army ships and boats.

21 posted on 12/25/2010 5:15:49 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld
The air force cannot understand the personal angle,

Yep, we just laugh at all CAS requests from those ground pukes.

Total bullshit.

Hey, how's that airspace gonna be divided up for control?

IIRC, the Army wants non-ATO aircraft to be free to operate up to 15K with ground-pounders flying them. Yeah, no hazards there. I've seen where a single aircraft in the wrong altitude blocks can cause all hell to break loose. The airspace over a combat zone can be quite crowded.

Is the solution to just have a ROZ over every ground unit engaged in combat operations? If so, it would be like every separate ground unit was fighting its own little war. No unity of effort. We've been down this road before, and it sucks.

22 posted on 12/25/2010 5:40:16 AM PST by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: exDemMom

We don’t need towels. We never sweat.


23 posted on 12/25/2010 6:20:07 AM PST by 101voodoo
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To: R. Scott
It’s the same with our Navy – now they want to take over all Army ships and boats.

Just returned from Langley-Eustis complex in Southern Virginia. This is just one of 6 joint bases now in the DOD. Langley AFB and Fort Eustis have been joined and the Air Force is the lead on this amalgamation. The future that I see is the bases coming together until we have one force I guess.

24 posted on 12/25/2010 6:54:06 AM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe

http://www.jble.af.mil/


25 posted on 12/25/2010 6:55:28 AM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: R. Scott
Back in the early 60s all Army fixed wing aircraft were turned over to the Air Force.

Not so. My father was an army aviator during that period, and flew both fixed and rotary wing (army doctrine at the time). He also commanded an aviation battalion in Vietnam, flying fixed wing aircraft, in around '68.

One bit of interest- I'm told that Dad was the first instrument qualified helicopter pilot in the army!

26 posted on 12/25/2010 7:05:03 AM PST by TexasBarak (I canceled a subscription, and used the money to become a monthly donor instead!)
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To: TexasBarak

The Army in 1966 kept Beavers, Otters, and L-19 spotters. We gave up Caribou and C-123s but all helicopters stayed Army if I remember rightly.

The Army also had what ever the military twin Beech was called but only for general officer transportation.


27 posted on 12/25/2010 7:15:23 AM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe

I don’t know what this has to do with the article we are discussing but in 1966 in Vietnam I served with an NCO that was in the Army for 12 years and was in a drone unit. I was in a UH-1 unit and he was on OJT for his 12 month tour but knew he was going to go back to drones because that was his primary MOS.

So back then he talked about the capability of drones to have cameras and fire rockets and I have often wondered why we didn’t have them in Vietnam.


28 posted on 12/25/2010 7:21:58 AM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe

I don’t know what this has to do with the article we are discussing but in 1966 in Vietnam I served with an NCO that was in the Army for 12 years and was in a drone unit. I was in a UH-1 unit and he was on OJT for his 12 month tour but knew he was going to go back to drones because that was his primary MOS.

So back then he talked about the capability of drones to have cameras and fire rockets and I have often wondered why we didn’t have them in Vietnam.


29 posted on 12/25/2010 7:22:05 AM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: TankerKC

Since 1998 with the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center. The result has been that Navy aircraft that used to be used solely for operational lift support now routinely get pulled at the last minute for “other priorities.”


30 posted on 12/25/2010 8:21:10 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: USNBandit

What aircraft are you talking here? I was unaware, though we used to take Navy and Army aircraft from DC to Norfolk/Langley a lot.


31 posted on 12/25/2010 8:40:49 AM PST by TankerKC (Part of the Soros funded Blog Police.)
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To: USNBandit
In Vietnam there was a informal pecking order for the Brown Water sailors and boots on the ground:

1. USN “Seawolf” UH-1B/C helo gunships, USN “Black Pony” OV-10 fixed wing, Army AH-1G Cobra gunship helos.

2. USMC tactical air.

3. USN tactical air.

4. USAF zoomies (who could usually drop their load on top of you if you were being overrun).

To be fair, the USAF was divided into two houses when it came to CAS (close air support): 1) the supersonic jet “zoomies” who were usually able to place their bomb loads somewhere within the province and 2) the pilots of former WW2 prop attack aircraft like the A-26K Invaders and A-1E and A-1H Skyraiders who'd come in low, slow and hot to put ordnance on target. If you were in heavy contact, you really wanted those guys in the A-26s and A-1s blasting bad guys!

In the 35 years since Vietnam fell, the aircraft have changed, but the pecking order has remained pretty much constant except the Navy has lost its light, fixed wing (OV-10) attack capability.

32 posted on 12/25/2010 9:02:55 AM PST by MasterGunner01 (To err is human; to forgive is not our policy. -- SEAL Team SIX)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe

I live just a couple miles outside the gate of Eustis and retired out of there. I wouldn’t mind seeing all services combined, it might eliminate inter service rivalry – at least lessen it.


33 posted on 12/25/2010 12:56:31 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: TexasBarak

It wasn’t an instant process. When I arrived in 1966 there were still a few Army C-119s and C-130s. By the time I left in 1968 all were USAF.
I shouldn’t have used the word “all”. Our Army still has a few liaison fixed wing aircraft but no cargo or troop carriers. When airlift is needed our Army still has to go hat in hand and to our Air Force.


34 posted on 12/25/2010 1:11:52 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: R. Scott
it might eliminate inter service rivalry – at least lessen it.

The joining doesn't appear to be without its issues. Which service owns what is a major problem and many details are being worked out. I hear that we are mixing service members in units where an AF person may be in an Army unit or vice versa. I don't think the discipline is equal.

35 posted on 12/25/2010 1:27:59 PM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: TankerKC

For the Navy, the logistic squadrons are required to have a certain number of aircraft available for JOSAC tasking at any one time. What would happen for my unit a lot of time is that we would get our JOSAC tasked aircraft pulled at the last minute and the same squadron would scramble to make another aircraft available for us.


36 posted on 12/25/2010 4:01:17 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe

Fort Eustis is now a joint Army/Air Force installation, Fort Story is joint Army/Navy. Mixed units can’t be far behind.


37 posted on 12/26/2010 4:08:45 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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