PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Gen. John Jumper
Chief of Staff
United States Air Force
Remotely Piloted Aircraft have demonstrated their combat value in the Global War on Terrorism. The RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator continues to transform warfighting; providing persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; target acquisition; and strike capabilities against time sensitive targets. Used in every Air Force operation since 1995, Predator has amassed over 100,000 flying hours. Today, with U.S.-based flight and mission control, Predator is truly providing a revolutionary leap in how we provide military capability. Equipped with an electro-optical, infrared, and laser designator sensor, and armed with Hellfire missiles, Predator not only shortened the sensor-to-shooter timeline – the sensor is now the shooter.
We are developing the ability to operate multiple aircraft from a single ground station – in effect, multiplying our overall combat effectiveness over the battlefield. We are also developing and deploying a larger, more capable, and more lethal variant – the MQ-9 Predator B. The MQ-9 Predator B will employ robust sensors to automatically find, fix, track, and target critical emerging time sensitive targets.
Sen. LEVIN: Now, on the unmanned aerial vehicles issue: We’re going to be buying, as I understand it, as many as 27 Predators from all sources with ’05 funds. In the ’06 budget, there’s only funding for nine Predators. And this committee, under Senator Warner’s leadership has really, for as long as I can remember, been strongly supportive of an adequate number of UAVs.
How many Predators will you really need to buy in ’06?
Gen. JUMPER: Sir, we’re going to tell General Atomics to build every Predator they can possibly build.
Sen. LEVIN: How many is that?
Gen. JUMPER: That’s going to take us up to 15, plus what was in the budget — I think the number’s going to be 22 by the end of this year, and we will equal that number, the maximum they can produce, for next year as well.
Sen. LEVIN: In ’06.
Gen. JUMPER: Yes, sir. There’s a hundred and — I’ll get you the precise number, but it’s in the 20s.
Sen. LEVIN: All right, but we’ve only budgeted — the budget request that comes from the administration is only for nine.
Gen. JUMPER: Right. There’s $161 million supplemental request before the Congress now to plus-up 15, which gets them to all they can build.
Sen. LEVIN: That’s for ’05.
Gen. JUMPER: For ’05.
Sen. LEVIN: But now in ’06, there’s only a request for nine.
Gen. JUMPER: We will get them to all they can build, which will be at least that number.
Sen. LEVIN: You’re relying on the ’06 supplemental…
Gen. JUMPER: We’re going to ask for a part of the supplemental to help us do that. Yes, sir.
Sen. LEVIN: And you know that that is going to be your request. There’s no doubt in your mind that you’re requesting that in the supplemental.
Gen. JUMPER: Yes, sir. That’s what we will do.
UNITED KINGDOM DEFENCE QUESTIONS
Written Ministerial Statements
Monday 7 February 2005
Reserve Forces (Future Use)
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): Building on the Defence White Paper “Delivering Security in a Changing World” (Cm 6041-I) and our experience in the use of reserves on operations, the Government are today announcing their vision for the future use of the reserve forces.
In recent years there has been a major strategic evolution in the way we use the reserves. We have moved from a large but little used reserve to a smaller, more effective one. Since 1995, the reserves have consistently provided 10 to 15 per cent. of the UK’s manpower in the former Yugoslavia, they have been deployed to Afghanistan and, since January 2003, some 11,000 reservists hav