Two New U.S. Organizations to Optimize UAVs
In the wake of recent jockeying between the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army for control of the U.S. military’s growing number of UAVs, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced the establishment of two organizations to coordinate the development and use of unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) capabilities.
The Joint UAV Center of Excellence (COE) is designed to improve interoperability and use, and it will examine the use of sensors and intelligence collection assets to meet joint operational requirements of US forces in any combat environment. This will be an operationally focused organization concentrating on UAV-systems technology, joint concepts, training, tactics, and procedural solutions to the warfighters’ needs. The Joint UAV COE will stand up at Creech AFB, NV later this year.
Initial operational capability for the center is scheduled for fall of this year. A Joint UAV COE working group, to include a Joint Site Activation Task Force, will be stood up this summer to support the initial operating capability. The Army will initially lead the Joint UAV COE, with the Air Force as deputy. These positions will rotate among the four military services. Once established, the center will have representatives from all four military services and other DoD and non-DoD agencies.
The Joint UAV Overarching Integrated Product Team (OIPT) will provide a forum to identify and resolve materiel issues and seek solutions common to all the military services. The OIPT will concentrate on improving UAV-system interoperability and will promote standardization and commonality of UAV systems and components through shared research and development (DARPA is already pushing in this direction via projects like common drone operating systems). The Marine Corps will initially chair the OIPT, and the chairman position will rotate among the four military services. The OIPT will include representatives of all services, the Joint Staff, the Joint Forces Command, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and combatant commands as appropriate.
The Joint UAV Overarching Integrated Product Team is a forum for making recommendations to the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) process to meet warfighter requirements. It will coordinate with the Joint UAV Center of Excellence when the lines between material and non-material solutions blur.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Air Force Link (July 8/05) – Press Conference Transcript with AF Gen. Goldfein re: UAV Center of Excellence
- US DoD DefenseLink (July 8/05) – Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team, Center of Excellence Announced