USAF Forges Ahead With Surveillance System

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 11:00 AM

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Air Force officials are going ahead with a plan to deploy a surveillance system for drone aircraft despite findings it is “not operationally effective.” The system, called the Gorgon Stare, has been found deficient in tracking people on the ground and in sending real-time images, The Washington Post reports.

air, force, drone, camerasAir Force officials maintain they have addressed concerns listed in the December report by the Air Force’s 53rd Wing Group, stationed at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base, and will deploy the system in Afghanistan in late winter.

Capt. John Kirby said that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, is still "in favor of fielding this capability as soon as practicable, with the expectation that any technical issues would and could be adjusted and modified once it was in the field,” the Post said.

The system is made up of nine cameras and is designed to provide images on a citywide scale.

Winslow T. Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information, said $426 million has already spent on the system since 2009 and costs will continue to pile up. Wheeler, who has tracked defense waste and inefficiency, said in an e-mail that even if Gorgon Stare were to be effective and reliable, it still would not help us win the war in Afghanistan, or anywhere else," the Post said.



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