Future Trends

Army Needs to Streamline Staffing of Unmanned System Units, Official Says

Resource management

Army Needs to Streamline Staffing of Unmanned System Units, Official Says

A U.S. Army aviator said the service has some unmanned technologies that require more humans to operate compared to manned systems.

Maj. Gen. Michael McCurry, a veteran helicopter pilot who currently leads the Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama, said some of those who are working on unmanned systems could be doing other tasks. As an example, McCurry noted that around 30 people work in the service’s Apache units while around 130 people work in Grey Eagle drone units.

McCurry and other officials said during an Association of the U.S. Army event that the service is trying to streamline its unmanned formations, Breaking Defense reported Monday.

According to McCurry, both hardware and software solutions are needed to make drone operations more efficient.

On the hardware front, McCurry said the Army could acquire new drones that can take off and land vertically and operate without extensive ground support equipment. On the software front, McCurry shared that the Army is considering artificial intelligence to help humans make sense of massive amounts of data coming from various sensors.

The official noted that amid efforts to improve automation, the Army should also focus on human-machine teaming, something that the service has struggled with. McCurry’s comments complement an analysis by The Mitre Corp. that found that full autonomous operations cannot be realized even by 2040.

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Category: Future Trends