LAS VEGAS: As the Army institutionalizes robotic systems that began as ad hoc expedients for Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chief of Staff wants drones in every combat aviation brigade and every division — even at the price of spreading them thinner across the force.
The Army’s first company of Grey Eagle UAVs, a variant of the Air Force’s Predator, is still on its first deployment to Afghanistan. (Platoon-sized elements of Grey Eagles have been supporting Special Forces in Afghanistan for longer). A second company is flying in the system’s Initial Operating Test & Evaluation, and a third has just started to receive its personnel. But Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno has already directed the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to plan a reorganization that would to put a Grey Eagle company in every Army division — without spending more of the service’s diminishing resources. Keep reading →