Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | US | Air Combat Command | Drones

Report: Pilot Shortage Has US Drone Fleet at 'Breaking Point'

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 04:09 PM

The U.S. Air Force is critically short of drone pilots to meet the Pentagon’s demand for more strikes against the Islamic State, as the terrorist army in Syria and Iraq adopts measures to counter the deadly unmanned aircraft.

The shortage is so severe that the fleet of drones is stretching to the “breaking point,” senior officials told The Daily Beast.

Gen. Herbert Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command, warned Air Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh of a “perfect storm” of a higher demand for strikes and increased resignations of experienced operators that will “damage the readiness and combat capability” of the fleet of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones.

“I am extremely concerned,” Carlisle wrote in an internal memo.

The Air Combat Command, which trains and equips Air Force combat forces, is resisting Pentagon demands for an increase in drone attacks, Carlisle said.

“It’s at the breaking point and has been for a long time,” a senior officer told the website. “What’s different now is that the Band-Aid fixes are no longer working.”

The Pentagon wants an increase in combat air patrols to 65 from the current 62, but Carlisle said the Air Force cannot manned the higher level and is struggling to maintain the current number of air strikes.

Each patrol needs a force of about 10 staffers to fly the drones and hundreds to analyze the data collected from aircraft and repair the fleet. In an emergency, the command can make do with about eight pilots. But staffing often drops below the emergency level.

“Pilot production has been decimated . . . ,” Carlisle wrote, referring to an increase in resignations from the Air Force.

Drone crews have also had deployments extended and have lost opportunities to advance their careers by missing required military educations courses.

Meanwhile, ISIS terrorists are adapting to the drone attacks. The Middle East Media and Research Institute reports that ISIS has advised its fighters how to insulate cell phones and use body wraps to hide from the U.S. spy planes.

Related Stories:

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
The U.S. Air Force is critically short of drone pilots to meet the Pentagon’s demand for more strikes against the Islamic State, as the terrorist army in Syria and Iraq adopts measures to counter the deadly unmanned aircraft.
US, Air Combat Command, Drones
360
2015-09-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 04:09 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved