Sep 14 2007

Shelby: UAV Decision Right Choice

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today applauded the Department of Defense’s decision not to grant Executive Agency of Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) to the Air Force.

“Throughout this process, I have been a staunch supporter of the Army maintaining control of tactical UAVs,” said Shelby.  “While I will always fight to keep Alabama’s military installations strong, in this case not only is this good for Alabama, but it is the only logical choice for the warfighter.  My visit to Iraq and discussions with General Petraeus and other battlefield commanders reinforced my opinion that UAVs must be fully controlled by our troops on the ground.  The Army’s ability to make tactical decisions and utilize its UAV capabilities makes them the proper service for medium to high altitude UAVs.  I am glad to see that the Department of Defense recognized these important factors and made the right decision.”

Over the last several years, Senator Shelby:

·Has been a leader in the fight to retain Army control of UAVs.

·Helped overturn Executive Agency decision for UAVs in 2005.

·Pushed for Army specific UAV Center of Excellence at Ft. Rucker.

·Led Alabama delegation correspondence to and meetings with Secretary England and other Department of Defense officials on UAV management and acquisitions control.

·Inserted language in Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008 to ensure that the Army retained control of their UAV assets.