First off, happy new year, everybody. Here's hoping for a great 2008.
This morning's lead story at Military.com has some interesting facts and figures surrounding the military's use of drones in Iraq. Here's an excerpt:
The military's reliance on unmanned aircraft that can watch, hunt and sometimes kill insurgents has soared to more than 500,000 hours in the air, largely in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.And new Defense Department figures obtained by the AP show that the Air Force more than doubled its monthly use of drones between January and October, forcing it to take pilots out of the air and shift them to remote flying duty to meet part of the demand.
And, as several military officials state in the article, that demand is only going to go up, even as the surge winds down.
Now, understanding the utility and cost effectiveness of drones, I'm wondering what happens to the morale and career motivation of an Eagle driver who suddenly gets the nod to be Drone Boy. Imagine hanging out in the ready room, wearing your speed jeans and talking with your hands, when someone taps you on the shoulder and hands you a joy stick. No more strapping into an ejection seat. No more touching the face of God. Just a cinderblock building and a video display.
Lou Gossett, Jr. doesn't play Drone Boy . . .
Read the entire story here.