Pulling Teeth: Why Humans Are More Important Than Hardware in Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT FORCES STAFF COLLEGE
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The expanded development and employment of unmanned aerial systems UAS places a disproportionate focus on the importance of technology over humans in airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR operations. The surge of airborne ISR in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2008 solidifies the importance of manned ISR aircraft and aircrews. Manned airborne ISR provides an indispensable combat capability because technology alone cannot replace the situational awareness, analytical decision reasoning, and flexibility of human ISR aircrew. Airborne ISR in future war will require a mixed fleet of both manned and unmanned aircraft to leverage the complementary strengths and capabilities of each system to maximize airborne ISR effectiveness in increasingly complex operational environments. As history has shown, unmanned technology will continue to complement and empower human aircrews, not replace them. War is an inherently human endeavor that will always require people on and over the battlefield.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Military Intelligence