One reason defense secretary Robert Gates decided the Air Force needed a change of leaders last year was his perception the service was too slow in providing intelligence to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. His concern was mostly about the availability of Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft, but there’s a new controversy brewing. The Joint Stars radar planes that conduct secret missions every day in Southwest Asia — mostly tracking and imaging moving ground targets — are in desperate need of new engines. On average, aged engines are forcing one mission abort every ten days. But the Air Force is dragging its feet on spending money appropriated by Congress for new engines, which undercuts its ability to meet the recon needs of U.S. ground forces.
Find Archived Articles: