Schoomaker wants to get close—real close—to the Air Force in the use of unmanned aerial systems (formerly UAVs). He said he would like to see Air Force and Army UASes operating over the battlefield in “a single box”—that is, with some sort of common direction and control. The UAS formations should be filled with troops who can work on Army, Air Force, Marine, and Navy UAVs “seamlessly” through network technology, training, and integration efforts, the Army Chief told reporters. He praised the joint UAV Center of Excellence at Creech AFB, Nev., which is leading efforts to develop standards and training between services. Schoomaker added that current and future integration efforts will create “expeditionary flexibility.”
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.