Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Schwartz: AF needs manned aircraft despite UAVs

Jul. 24, 2012 - 08:26PM   |   Last Updated: Jul. 24, 2012 - 08:26PM  |  
Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said the service will need manned aircraft for at least 30 more years.
Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said the service will need manned aircraft for at least 30 more years. (Scott M. Ash / Air Force)
  • Filed Under

Despite the Air Force's emphasis on unmanned drones, manned aircraft are not going away, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters on Tuesday.

"Manned aviation will be part of the chemistry because at least for the near term, the Remotely Piloted Aircraft capability is not for contested airspace," Schwartz said. "It is a benign airspace capability."

The Air Force will continue to need manned aircraft, such as the F-35s, for at least 30 more years to be able to penetrate sophisticated air defense systems, Schwartz said at his final press conference as chief.

However, pilots for manned aircraft won't necessarily make up the majority of the Air Force, Schwartz said.

"We're training more RPA aviators than we are bomber and fighter pilots," he said. "Ultimately, it is conceivable that the majority of aviators in our Air Force will be Remotely Piloted Aircraft operators.

Schwartz is set to retire next month after four years as chief. Gen. Mark A. Welsh III has been nominated to replace him.

If confirmed, Welsh will have to address the service's trust issue with Congress, Schwartz sad.

The Air Force angered Congress by proposing to cut 5,100 Guard airmen next year, prompting lawmakers such as Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., to protest that the cuts would "fall disproportionately upon the Air National Guard.

"I think that the reality is that there are some who questions whether our motives for the relative reductions between the active-duty, the Guard and the Reserve — whether that was truly analytically based or whether there other motives involved," Schwartz said. "One of Mark's chores, should he be confirmed, will to be to reassure the lawmakers that we are one Air Force, that we rely on all three components of our Air Force and that the balance between these components is driven fundamentally by a concern of overuse of any one of those segments of our Air Force."

Schwartz would not venture whether future personnel cuts would come predominantly from the active-duty force.

"Clearly we have indications from Congress about what they believe is executable and that will carry forward into the [fiscal] 14 program," he said. "I'm not prepared to provide premature insight into those outcomes."

Answers sponsored by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

Top TA & GI Bill schools
Most popular colleges cater to troops by taking classes to them

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook