"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, September 16, 2005

UAV's a USAF overview

On September 13th 2005 the USAF provided a press briefing at Keesler AFB Biloxi, Missouri – whoise radars had been used to help out battered Civial Aviation Control during and after Katrina hit the area.

There was discussion about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the Commander of Air Combat Command, General Ronald E. Keys gave some background on the current usage of these autonomous vehicles for surveillance (ISR) and offensive operations.

Vehicles such as the Global Hawk and the MQ-1 Predator are increasingly important, as fast as the UAVs are being built they are being put downrange.

The Predator’s role has expanded beyond its original concept and can now be weaponised. "They are one of those things where if you had 1,000 of them, I don't think you'd have enough," General Keys said. Interestingly the Predator B variant ALTAIR used by NOAA for scientific experiments is the first remotely piloted aircraft that will meet aviation authority requirements for unmanned flights in National Air Space. (has Afghanistan / Iran / etc etc., approved it's use in their air space ?)

Increasingly the aim is to distribute information in real time streaming video to troops on the ground on the combat zone. " .. let them know what's around the corner before they go around the corner," the General said.

The Global Hawk is still in operational testing, with about 4,000 combat hours. It is in high demand in the Central Command / Middle East operations, it is expected to be used increasingly in conducting ISR over huge areas of the Pacific region. (Which is near China)

"The staring, ruthless persistence these UAVs bring to us, make them particularly suited to that," General Keys said. (Except when they fall out of the sky says Ckicken Licken)

UAVs also make ideal missions for Guard and Reserve units apparently they can be mobilized locally, conducting most of the flying and ISR portions of the mission from their home station in the US. Only a small contingent of Airmen would need to be sent forward.

Sounds ideal for Dubya who never really saw much action as a pilot in the National Guard – perhaps he could have a terminal to play with on his desk in the Oval Office, next to his guitar. However with his record of falling off bikes and hi tech scooters he might need to read a few user manuals before he tries it out – we wouldn’t want rogue missiles fired at the Pentagon.

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