They’ve always been called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAV’s, but their new name is Unmanned Aerial Systems. UAS’s save soldiers lives conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Fort Rucker officials say even though the Air Force wants the UAS’s, the Army is going to fight to keep them.
Fort Rucker is the Unmanned Aerial System center of excellence for the Army.
That’s where they write policy, develop training and doctrine, and integrate simulation for all UAS’s across the Army.
UAS Systems Manager Glenn Rizzi says, “Rucker is [the] Army’s UAV center of excellence. We are the combat developers of the capability.”
The Air Force proposes consolidating all UAS’s above 3500 feet to improve efficiency, acquisition and interdependence effects on the battlefield.
The Army believes they already have the effects they need as they are already integrated into their units on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Air Force won't be able to provide support we need at brigade combat level,” Rizzi explains.
The Air Force says the air space with UAS’s in the combat zone is chaotic.
The Army says they already coordinate air space with the Air Force above 3500 feet and they support units on the ground as well as manned/unmanned teaming with units in the air.
“So,” Rizzi says, “We have ground to air, air to ground, and [we are] talking to everybody out there.”
Discussions continue between the Air Force and Army on this topic while testimony gets started before Congress.
During the talks between the Army and Air Force, Rizzi says the soldier's needs are at the forefront of their concern.