Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Interservice Rivalry: Air Force and Army’s Competing Priorities


The U.S. military has several branches, each with its unique culture, priorities, and mission. Historically, these differences have led to inter-service rivalry, as each military unit vies for resources and influence. A recent article by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) sheds light on one example of inter-service rivalry: the competition between the U.S. Air Force and Army for control over unmanned aerial systems (UAS).


According to the article, the U.S. Army has been seeking greater control over UAS operations, arguing that it is better positioned to integrate UAS into ground operations. The Air Force, meanwhile, has been reluctant to cede control over UAS, citing concerns about safety and security. This conflict has been exacerbated by the fact that both services have invested heavily in UAS technology and capabilities, each seeking to establish itself as the primary provider of UAS support for ground troops.


Despite these challenges, there have been efforts in recent years to promote greater collaboration and cooperation between the Air Force and Army in UAS operations. One example is the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC), established to ensure that UAS systems from different services can work together seamlessly. While the inter-service rivalry is a persistent challenge within the U.S. military, efforts to promote collaboration and cooperation between the different branches can help to overcome these obstacles and ensure that the military can meet the challenges of the 21st century.


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