The House Armed Services Committee wants DOD to conduct a new roles and missions scrub, because it sees mission creep and duplication evident in areas such as tactical airlift and unmanned aerial vehicles. Meanwhile some lawmakers are bent on using the 2008 defense bills to try to hamstring any potential shift of systems that such a scrub might produce. The latest, reported by Roxana Tiron of The Hill, is from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) who wants to ensure the Army keeps control of all aspects of its UAV programs. Tiron reports also that the Air Force actively is trying to block the Shelby measure. The Pentagon in September derailed Air Force push to become executive agent for higher-flying UAVs, but it did direct a merger of the Army’s Sky Warrior and Air Force’s Predator acquisition efforts. The Air Force has stated it’s OK with the Pentagon decision about executive agency, but it is working on a plan to address shortfalls it sees in the Pentagon’s approach. And, last week, Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, told lawmakers that he and Army Chief Gen. George Casey “are going to spend some time” discussing this issue.
Just days after Air Mobility Command cleared the KC-46 to start refueling Air Force F-15s and F-16s, a tanker from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing completed the Pegasus’ first Tanker Airlift Control Center-tasked F-16 Coronet, flying from Naval Station Rota, Spain, across the Atlantic.