Skip to comments.Pentagon battle breaks out over a spy plane
Posted on 03/21/2008 10:19:29 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered the Air Force to put nearly all of its unmanned Predator aircraft into the skies over the Middle East, forcing the service to take steps that officers worry could hobble already-stressed drone squadrons.
Pressure from the Defense secretary in recent months has nearly doubled the number of Predators available to help hunt insurgents and find roadside bombs in Iraq. But it has forced air commanders into a scramble for crews that officers said could hurt morale and harm the long-term viability of the Predator program.
Some officers said pressure from Gates resulted in one plan that could have taken the Air Force down a path similar to the German Luftwaffe, which cut back training in World War II to get more pilots in the air.
"That was the end of their air force," said Col. Chris Chambliss, commander of the Air Force's Predator wing. The Air Force plan, presented to the military leadership in January, eventually was scaled back.
The surge in drone flights is Gates' latest push for short-term measures to win the Iraq war that will have long-term implications for the U.S. military. In recent months, Gates has campaigned to increase the size of the Army and to ship new, heavily armored troop transporters, known as MRAPs, to Iraq.
Because of the far-reaching implications of the Predator debate, a fight has broken out between the Army and the Air Force over control of one of the most heralded technological successes of the war.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
That seems over-stated. The problem for the Germans was that inexperienced pilots were sent up too early, and got shot down by the RAF. German pilots didn't live long enough to gain the skills that ought to have been passed on to the next group of young pilots.
Planes can be replaced far more easily than pilots. The Germans sacrificed their pilots.
You really can't get yourself into the same sort of fix witht he Predators.
General Atomics Bump!
So lets buy some more.
Where do we find such men?
Train Army & Marine crews. They’ll do the job without crying about the workload.
Hard to get hurt when driving a drone from an air-conditioned shelter just outside of Las Vegas.
I can imagine that looking at a monitor for 12+ hours looking for Hajiis in the bush can strain the old eyeballs tho...
Shame they can’t multicast over the web so many eyes can look as well....it would be the ultimate video game to some.
Trainers will turn out more pilots for Predators next year than for all other Air Force fighter planes combined.
Obviously softer Ascots are needed in Nevada. Tough duty???
Remember the Nena song 99 Luftballoons?
“Keine Doesenflieger mehr”
(We are out of pilots!)
The Air Force upper brass is seeing the tactical air future - and it doesn’t have pilots!
You said: Where do we find such men?
um...the Air Force?
“German pilots didn’t live long enough to gain the skills that ought to have been passed on to the next group of young pilots.”
Yet three of the five highest scoring aces in history were Luftwaffe pilots who survived the war.
I fly large R/C planes and would love the chance to fly one of the drones. I’d fly for free! I wished they had these drones when I was in the Navy back in the 80’s.
In four years, the same nimrods opposing the program will be publicly endorsing one or more of the Demwit candidates for President. Thanks Ernest.
It’s times like this that we need Rummy around to kick some top brass butt!