Friday, November 20, 2009
The Air Force is learning to transition from fighter jocks to remotely controlled drones. Predictably, the culture change is painful. The service, which has had a technological flair since the beginning, is not adapting easily to technology that "dumbs down" the role of the pilot. In essence, the aeronautical science the Air Force depended on since the beginning has turned on it. From a citizen's point of view, it was about time. Budgets for fighter planes had soared out of sight, and it is increasingly difficult to keep a Cold War air force competitive. The cost overruns of the latest fighter jet are symptomatic. The Air Force has always set itself apart from the Army with its boots on the ground. It can't be easy to find itself subordinate to Grunts.