Not Like Hula Hoops

Get used to the era of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), according to Lt. Gen. David Deptula, Air Force deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. “They’re not a fad,” he said, since an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can provide persistent ISR, which will be a linchpin of all future USAF operations. Right now, unmanned vehicles are helpless in contested airspace, but Deptula said stealthy and survivable versions will come along, and they will complement and enhance manned systems. He wants to shed the terms UAV and UAS, though, because, he said, both terms are misleading. “There is a man or woman controlling it; they just don’t happen to be in the airplane,” said Deptula, who prefers going back to the moniker “remotely piloted vehicles,” or RPVs.