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Kenneth Callahan: Gov’t Should Reconsider UAV Mission Sets, Resource Allocation

Kenneth CallahanPanelists at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event have called for the Defense Department to re-examine how it is funding work to produce and apply unmanned aircraft systems, FCW reported Thursday.

Sean Lyngaas cites CSIS’ Sustaining the U.S. Lead in Unmanned Systems report, which notes decreasing DoD money for drones research and says more than a dozen countries are working to build armed drones.

This environment puts the government in a position where it needs to “(think) hard about how we want to use these systems, what mission sets we want to get into, and where we want to invest our time and money,” Col. Kenneth Callahan, director of the U.S. Air Force‘s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Capabilities Division, said in the Thursday panel discussion.

“The countries that develop new military technologies are not always the ones that figure out how to use them,” Callahan added.

Capt. Chris Corgnati, deputy director of ISR capabilities in the U.S. Navy’s OPNAV N2/N6, suggested ramping up knowledge sharing on remotely piloted aircraft among the military services.

“Cooperation amongst the services right now in the field of RPAs is as good as it has ever been, in my estimation,” he said.

The CSIS report’s authors recommended creating a special office led by a two-star general or flag officer that will act to consolidate all UAV related research DoD-wide, monitor the budget for it and report to the deputy secretary of defense.

“Obviously, there are limited dollars right now, but that doesn’t mean experimentation and industry engagement can’t continue,” Col. Ethan Griffin, a military fellow at CSIS, said to FCW.

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