How Should the Joint Force Handle the Command and Control of Unmanned Aircraft Systems?   [open pdf - 221KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The purpose of this monograph is to formulate an improvement to and highlight deficiencies in the current manner of the command and control of unmanned aircraft systems [UAS]. The paper employs a historical method of analysis of the centralization of the command and control of airpower derived from the Casablanca Conference of 1943 during World War II. It then applies the classification problems associated with aircraft and discusses the lack of applicability of those taxonomies as technological advances make aircraft multi-role capable assets. This multi-role capability of armed unmanned aerial vehicles has the aircraft straddling the command and control line between being a simple reconnaissance platform and an air-to-ground strike platform. There are three recommendations that emerged from this research. The first is that the Department of Defense must appoint executive agents for unmanned aircraft systems. The second is that all Tactical 3, Operational/Theater, and Strategic UASs be centralized under the command and control of the air component commander. The third recommendation is to terminate the MQ-1 Predator program and increase procurement of the Sky Warrior aircraft."

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