The House Armed Services Committee believes that the services may have blurred the “lines of responsibility for unmanned aerial vehicles, space systems, and mobility systems, … along with traditional lines between naval, expeditionary, and ground forces.” The result, states the committee’s summary of its markup of the 2008 defense authorization bill, is the “duplication of numerous capabilities.” The committee proposes an “overdue” major internal review. It wants DOD to conduct this roles and missions review every four years and to organize into core mission areas and seek out service capabilities that are outside their core competency. This sounds mighty like the Air Force’s plea for some sanity in the UAV arena.
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.