Thursday, May 8, 2014

CSIS Event: "Sustaining the U.S. Lead in DoD Unmanned Systems"

Today I attended the Sustaining the U.S. Lead in DoD Unmanned Systems event at the CSIS here in Washington, DC.

What I learned re Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA’s):

• Re War on Terror - RPA’s concentrated over Afghanistan and Iraq, now spread out more
• Can switch theaters very quickly – just need to reboot and brief the men
• Current status much like aircraft after WWI – used initially for surveillance and then moved into combat/commercial sectors
• U.S. Navy behind Air Force by about a decade
• U.S. Navy working to integrate RPA’s into systems whereas the Air Force has a separate fleet of RPA’s
• Collaboration is good among the services
• U.S. Marine Corps interested in ground drones, Navy interested in submerged vehicles

My analysis:

• All 4 panelists very excited about this technology, can probably speak for the military as a whole.
• Noticeable lack of emphasis on geopolitical ramifications of RPA’s
• No mention of proliferation issues


Panel 1: Service Perspective in FY15 and Beyond
Colonel Kenneth Callahan, USAF
Director, Air Force RPA Capabilities Division
Captain Chris Corgnati, USN
Deputy Director, ISR Capabilities, OPNAV N2/N6
Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Lapoint, USA
Unmanned Aerial Systems Chief, HQDA G3/5/7
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hixson, USMC
Unmanned Ground Systems CIO, HQMC CD&I
Moderated by:
Colonel Ethan Griffin
U.S. Air Force Fellow, CSIS

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