Will the Air Force become executive agent for unmanned aerial vehicles and, as some lawmakers would have it, sole proprietor of fixed-wing aircraft? Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley says he’s “happy to let [the discussion] play out” within the Defense Department. Moseley told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that he’s having “cordial discussions” with the other services on the UAV issue and “working our way through on this” with the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. As for the airlift aspect—the Army wants to maintain its own intratheater fixed-wing fleet—Moseley noted that “this is not the first time” in the past few years that lawmakers have suggested a new roles and missions hash-out. Moseley declined to say whether USAF should get the sole duty, but noted that airlift is, among other things, “what we do.”
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.