Action on the ISR Front

A recent year-long review of the Air Force’s intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance enterprise determined, among its findings, that there isn’t “a very robust or disciplined process” for organizing and pursuing new technologies, said Lt. Gen. Larry James, deputy chief of staff for ISR. “We’re not doing . . . the R&D and S&T piece . . . effectively,” James told attendees Thursday at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, when discussing the review. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley chartered it. James said the upshot of the review is that there will be a comprehensive reorganization of how the service manages its “precious R&D ‘seed corn’ dollars” in this realm. The ISR enterprise will “not be immune” to budget cuts in the next couple of years, but “I think we’ll fare well,” since the need and demand for high-quality ISR “will only go up,” he said. The big ISR technology push will have to be balanced between collection and analysis, and there’s also the urgent need for automating processing, exploitation, and dissemination of intelligence information, he said. PED is too manpower-intensive now and too much material is being “left on the floor,” noted James.