Air Force, Navy officials partner on unmanned aircraft systems

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Amaani Lyle
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
In a signed memorandum of agreement, Air Force and Navy officials partnered to maximize commonality, eliminate redundant effort and increase interoperability between the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aircraft systems and the RQ-4 Global Hawk system.

Signed by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead June 12, the MOA directs specific actions to achieve an integrated training, maintenance and operational approach based on platform similarities. The MOA also directs the establishment of a Synergies Working Group to identify synergies in basing, maintenance, aircraft command and control, training, logistics, and data requirements commonalities.

Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and Vice Adm. Jack Dorsett, the Navy deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance, will act as leads for their respective services directing and developing BAMS UAS and Global Hawk synergies.

"This MOA is a tremendous step forward between our two services," General Deptula said. "It sets the standard for what can be achieved by seeking service interdependence."

General Deptula explained the two services will achieve synergy in personnel, equipment and training while reducing overall cost to the Department of Defense.

"The result of this integrated approach will be greater capacity for quick, reliable and sustainable ISR for combatant commanders," the general said.

Navy officials expressed similar confidence in the success the agreement will yield.

"This agreement allows us to leverage the shared and complementary expertise of the Navy and Air Force and deliver agile, interoperable systems to the warfighter," Admiral Dorsett said. "We also look forward to the increased efficiencies that this approach will deliver to the benefit of both the BAMS and Global Hawk programs."

Although the MOA does not obligate funds, it does focus on identifying commonalities, interoperability and joint efficiencies.

The MOA specifically directs BAMS UAS and Global Hawk programs to look at options for joint Navy and Air Force squadron organizations; joint basing in various theaters, subject to combatant commander approval where required; squadron-level consolidated maintenance facility; and joint aircraft command and control, and training.

BAMS UAS will be a forward-deployed, land-based, remotely-operated system that provides a persistent maritime ISR capability as a key component of the Navy's family of unmanned systems to achieve maritime domain awareness. Initial operating capability is scheduled for 2015.