LOSING TIME: EYES ON THE BATTLEFIELD
|“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.” - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
Eyes On The Battlefield
U.S. geographic combatant commanders have increased their airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements by over 800% during the past 10 years, but the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military services are meeting only 30% overall of those airborne ISR requirements.
WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY:
Combatant commanders have unmanned airborne ISR capabilities that are outdated and in need of modernized sensors and capabilities in order to sufficiently operate in or near geographically challenging or contested environments. Furthermore, some of these unmanned platforms are incapable of performing collection of multiple intelligence discipline data simultaneously. Under a CR the Services are not authorized to retrofit the Navy MQ-4C Triton’s sensors and the Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle's aircraft avionics and communications. In addition, the Services are being limited to procuring only the quantity of aircraft requested in the President’s budget and not able to procure anything above that quantity that was validated on a Service’s unfunded priorities list and increased by Congress. Under a CR these new start and increased procurement quantity authorities cannot be exercised.
WHAT WE COULD BE DOING:
The House-passed NDAA authorizes new start authorities for retrofitting the Navy MQ-4C Triton’s sensors and the Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle's aircraft avionics and communications, in addition to authorizing an additional six MQ-1C aircraft validated on the Army’s unfunded priorities list. These necessary ISR capabilities will allow the Services to provide better capabilities to the troops in the field at a greater capacity.