Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Ground Predators

You know, it just occurred to me that with our drones doing a lot of the work from the air in a largely static front to direct air strikes in Iraq, could we rig up a Humvee with all the cameras and communication gear found on a drone to allow a forward air controller to call in strikes from the ground while in a chair safely back in the rear areas?

We have officially kept our military off the front to call in air strikes:

The requests are screened at a joint operations center far from the combat, where a team of American officials quickly verifies the information provided by the Iraqis before approving strikes. One center is in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, and one is in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

This is the final clearance for a number of ways requests can be made for our air strikes.

Could we have contractors drive around in a Humvee that mounts all the communications gear and cameras and other gear that a human ground controller safely sitting in Irbil or Baghdad operates remotely and uses to verify and paint a target for our planes?

Of course, a Ground Predator is a high tech solution to allowing us to use air power the only way it makes sense--with forward air controllers with the troops we will support--while officially having no US troops on the ground with the troops we will support from the air.

We could instead just define forward air controllers to exclude "intelligence assets" who do exactly what forward air controllers do without the inconvenient American uniform.