Running head: Aviation Transformation U.S. Army Aviation Transformation First and Last Name Class Name School Name Abstract The introduction of UAV’s in the U.S. military has replaced many units since the Army transformation of 2004. This essay covers what the Army transformation of 2004 entails, the development and purpose of UAV’s and how it is affecting U.S…
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The U.S. Army goes as far as to state, “soldiers learn these values in detail during Basic Combat Training (BCT), from then on they live them every day in everything they do — whether they’re on the job or off” (Department of Defense, 2006). Since the formation of our country soldiers, brave men and women; have fought to protect our borders, our rights, our freedoms. There have been many changes, in the way they have fought; from horses and swords, to planes, and guns, but the operating force, the solider, and their values have remained the same. With advances in technology there has arisen a new threat to the soldier’s way of life, job security and possibly even necessity, and that is machine soldiers. Machines, acting in place of soldiers, now patrol our borders, and more recently steps have been made to make them airborne. In fact part of the 2004 Army transformation displaced an entire airborne fleet, the Comanche helicopter division, and entrusted the 6.9 million dollars that was used to fund speed up the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) development. This leaves many to question whether or not a machine can really exude the same values as a solider. After taking a deeper look at the reasons for the 2004 army transformation, the development and purpose of UAV’s and how it is affecting U.S. army units, we may rethink the funding the use of machines over soldiers. 2004 Army Transformation After the attacks in 9/11/2001 the U.S. army entered the first war in close to thirty years. By 2004 it was apparent that this war was going to last longer than expected, so the army began looking at a total transformation. Much of the equipment was in desperate need of advancement and the location and usage of army personnel needed to be altered. US Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker spoke before congress in December 2006 on the importance of this Army transformation. He said, "Following 9/11, our Army began its most significant reorganization since World War II to ensure that the formations of all components are fully manned, equipped, and trained” (Schoomaker, 2006). Of course one of the primary goals of this transformation was the advancement of technology use in our armed forces. As with most technological changes this brought about much debate, especially over the development of unmanned vehicles. The Development and Purpose of UAV’s One particular unmanned vehicle that was developed was the unmanned aerial vehicle, also known as UAV’s. A UAV is a remotely controlled aerial vehicle that is unmanned by human personal, or crew. These vehicles come in two categories and are used for a variety of purposes. In the past UAV’s were typically more or less drone’s, or remotely piloted aircraft. In this case the pilot, or soldier, would still be in a sense flying the plane and making the decisions but they would doing this from a more secured ground location. Recent advancements, however, have led to the use of autonomous control in the UAV’s. In this situation the aircraft is preset to a particular flight plan, and at times has a particular order to fulfill. In this situation one solider could monitor multiple aircrafts, eliminating many Army positions. This also leaves the job of decision making up to the aircraft, or computer, not to a solider who has been trained in the key value systems listed above. Currently
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