When A-10 pilots of Air Force Reserve Command’s 303rd Fighter Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Mo., deploy to Afghanistan later this spring, the Litening targeting pods that their Warthogs carry will once again have the ability to pass live imagery directly to joint terminal attack controllers on the ground. This is possible via transmitters and antennas for the remotely operated video enhanced receiver system—called the ROVER—that are fitted on the pods. Operating with the ROVER system will not be new to the unit’s pilots, as they have already flown with them in combat. But, in the past, when the squadron returned to the US, it had to relinquish its ROVERs to units deploying next to the Middle East/Near East. Now the unit is getting new ROVER kits and will be able to train with them before shipping out. (Whiteman report by Maj. Dave Kurle)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.