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Intelligence

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Where Are They Going And Where Do They Belong?

CSC 1995

SUBJECT AREA Strategic Issues

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Title: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Where are They Going and Where Do They

Belong?

Author: Major Gary A. Warner USMC

Research Question: Where, in the Marine Corps, should functional sponsorship,

operational control, and administrative control reside for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)?

Discussion: The Marine Corps has experimented with many UAVs but it has never

developed a robust capability. UAV programs have been plagued with training,

technical, and programmatic problems. The Pioneer UAV program has not been any

better than its predecessors, in this regard. In l987, the Secretary of the Navy pushed for an accelerated procurement of Pioneer UAV, but never ensured that the logistics required to support the program were developed. Pioneer UAV demonstrated its value in Desert Storm; but since then, the system's mission capability has deteriorated. Programs that will replace Pioneer UAV will inherit similar problems unless corrections are made now.

In December l994, the Marine Corps Executive Steering Group (ESG) decided

to move all UAV concerns from the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence

Group (SRIG) to the Department of Aviation. This report analyzes the alternatives that may have been available to the ESG. The alternatives were: leave UAVs under the management of the SRIG; move UAV management to Aviation with administrative and operational control in the Aviation Combat Element (ACE); and, move management to Aviation, but leave the UAVs under the operational control of the SRIG. The analysis evaluates each alternative considering the following criteria: the feasibility in disseminating information, maintenance, manning requirements, airspace management,

strategic lift and flexibility, cost, training, and the impact of doctrinal changes.

Conclusion: In terms of maintenance, flexibility and deployability, there is more benefit to placing UAV system operations under the Department of Aviation than the other alternatives. The benefit of each criteria is marginal; however, the total sum of the benefits is largely in favor of Aviation management and control.

Recommendation: That the Marine Corps place all UAV program management under

the Department of Aviation and that the ACE assume administrative and operational control of UAV companies.


Table of Contents

Section Page

 

Section One: Introduction to the Problem

 

Introduction 1

Thesis Statement 4

Methodology and Scope 4

Review of the Literature 6

Section Two: Background

 

UAV Basics 8

Drones, RPVs, and UAVs 8

UAV System Components 9

Misnomers 11

Constraints 11

UAV Concepts and the Intelligence Cycle 13

Disseminating Intelligence Productsl4

Early UAV History 15

Remotely Piloted Helicopters 15

Bikini 16

DASH and Project Snoopy 17

A Renewed Interest 20

Israeli Success 20

American Failure 21

Mastiff UAV Concept Developer 22

Simple, Inexpensive, and Now 22

Developing Concepts of Operations 23


Department of the Navy UAV Management 25

Pioneer UAV 25

Training and Personnel 27

Department of Defense UAV Training Center 27

Personnel and the Revolving Door 28

Summary 29

Section Three: The Analysis

 

Methodology 30

Assumptions 32

Alternative l 33

Alternative 2 35

Alternative 36

Criteria #l: Feasibility in Disseminating UAV Products37

Discussion 37

Comparison 41

Criteria #2: Manning Requirements 37

Discussion 40

Comparison 41

Criteria #3: Maintenance 43

Discussion 43

Comparison 45

Criteria #4: Airspace Management 46

Discussion 46

Comparison 47

Criteria #5: Strategic Lift and Deployment Flexibility48

Discussion 48

Comparison 49


Criteria #6: Cost 50

Discussion 50

Comparison 51

Criteria #7: Training 53

Discussion 53

Comparison 55

Criteria #8: Doctrine Impact 56

Discussion 56

Comparison 58

Comparing the Evaluation 58

Section Four: Conclusion 60

 

Section Five: Recommendations 63

 

Endnotes 65

 

Bibliography 68


 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:

 

Where Are They Going and Where Do They Belong?

 

Section One: Introduction to the Problem

 

Introduction

 

Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) became precious assets during

Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They flew more than 900 hours supporting both the ground combat and the aviation combat elements. The systems partially filled the huge void in real-time and near real-time imagery and almost everyone became a UAV enthusiast. The lessons learned from the operation called for fielding more systems and providing more ways to receive Pioneer's real-time information.1 One would think the praise and admiration of the UAV's combat achievements would be enough to raise the interest of how well they were managed.

There are many other circumstances that should raise the Marine Corps' interest in Pioneer UAV. Besides hand held cameras, they are the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Commander's only remaining tactical aerial reconnaissance asset. The Marine Corps deactivated its only RF-4 squadron in 1990, and deactivated its last OV-10 squadron in 1994. The setbacks and cost overruns of the Advanced Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance System have placed the F/A-18D reconnaissance capability years behind schedule and lead to the cancellation of the Medium Range UAV. The Short Range
UAV, Pioneer UAV's larger replacement, is also behind schedule and shows limited

promise of success. The Close Range UAV, whose development relies on Short Range

UAV development, will not be fielded before 1998.

Despite its importance, the Pioneer UAV's ability to support the Marine

Air-Ground Task Force has steadily declined. The system was supposed to provide an interim capability and be replaced in the early part of this decade. Consequently, the program had neither a complete logistics support analysis nor adequate funds for full contract support. The readiness has been affected because of shortfalls in spare parts, replacement air vehicles, and training. The Marine Corps' Pioneer UAV systems have an operational readiness that is less than one-quarter of the Chief of Naval Operations readiness goal and their mishap rates are over 100 times higher than manned aircraft.2 The correct mix of Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) has never been resolved, and the UAV company's table of organization is facing its third rewrite in five years. And

finally, the strategic lift requirement has increased to five C-5 aircraft for each Pioneer UAV company.

The Pioneer UAV Program was placed in a management dilemma from its

inception. The Marine Corps considered UAVs ground based and placed them in the

artillery regiment, then the division, and later in the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group (SRIG). Although Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) normally manages ground equipment, its UAV Project Office only managed the Very Low Cost UAV Program and the Short Range UAV Program.3 Pioneer UAV Program Management Office resided in Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR). As a


result, Pioneer RPVs fell in a gap where no one in the Marine Corps was overwatching the Program's management.

On December 21, 1994, the Marine Corps's Executive Steering Group (ESG)

tasked the Department of Aviation (referred to as "Aviation") with the management of UAVs. The proposal to move UAV management was quite controversial. For years, proponents who wanted to keep UAVs with the SRIG believed if UAVs were in Aviation, "real-time" intelligence would go to the Direct Air Support Center (DASC) or the Tactical Air Command Center and never be seen by the ground units.4 These proponents also raised concerns that the few Pioneer UAV systems we now have will quickly follow in the footsteps of the RF-4 and the OV-10. Those two platforms provided valuable intelligence products; however, they were deactivated because they were obsolete, expensive, and labor intensive. Aviation will realize little, if any, gain from taking over UAV management. With Pioneer UAV, Aviation will have responsibility for a program that has a very limited training pipeline, no logistics support analysis, and Congressional scrutiny over costs for improvements. With Short Range UAV, Aviation will inherit a system that has a notorious history of catastrophic failures from software, reliability problems, and a multi-million dollar funding shortage for UAV

operations and maintenance.5

UAVs are more than unmanned air vehicles, they are systems. The systems are complex, expensive, and not simple to operate. Our history is filled with failed UAV programs, each with a set of challenges that were not overcome and are being repeated in new attempts to fully field systems today. After making a simple observation of our
experiences with recent UAV programs, it is obvious that Short Range UAV management

and employment methods will follow in the footsteps of the Pioneer UAV. Therefore, the Marine Corps has an obligation to itself to remedy its UAV problems before it goes any further with them. What alternatives did the ESG really have? This paper discusses the very basics of UAVs, the Marine Corps experiences with them, and three potential alternatives to meeting the challenges of Pioneer UAV and its successors.

Thesis Statement

Where, in the Marine Corps, should functional sponsorship, operational control, and administrative control reside for UAVs?

Methodology and Scope

This paper starts with the background of the problems the Marine Corps has had with the Pioneer UAV and its predecessors. The paper then compares three alternatives to determine if aviation management or ground management best supports the operations and maintenance of UAVs. The first alternative leaves the current and future UAV systems with the SRIG and incorporates changes to optimize the company's performance. The second alternative moves the entire UAV program to Aviation and treats UAVs as manned aircraft. The third alternative moves UAV management to Aviation but leaves the system under the operational control of the SRIG. These alternatives will be described in detail and compared against eight criteria in the analysis section of this paper. The criteria for the analysis is based on: the feasibility of disseminating UAV


products, manning requirements, maintenance, airspace management, cost, strategic lift and deployment flexibility, training, and impact on doctrine. The choice of criteria was based on interviews and extracts from recent briefs concerning UAV management. The scope of the paper focuses primarily on the Pioneer UAV, and its two follow-on systems, the Short Range UAV and the Close Range UAV. For simplicity, the paper limits the UAV mission to collecting aerial imagery.

The information for this paper comes from a variety of sources. The design of the alternatives, prediction of their impacts, and the comparison of alternatives comes from my personal experiences as the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) UAV Requirements Officer, the UAV Occupational Field Sponsor, a Weapons and Tactics Instructor, and an Aviation Safety Officer. As the UAV Requirements Officer, I visited operational UAV companies in the Fleet Marine Force, participated in refining UAV requirements with the Joint Staff, and witnessed the initial operational assessment of the Short Range UAV. My research started with a review of the "Marine Corps Lessons Learned System" followed by a search of all literature written under the subject of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones, Remotely Piloted Vehicles, and Aerial Reconnaissance. This was followed by interviews with UAV operators, Direct Air Support Center Officers, communications officers, supply officers, program managers,

MCCDC structure and training personnel, defense analysts, and previous research writers.


Review of the Literature

 

There are many articles addressing UAVs; however, there are only four articles that address how and where the systems should be maintained. Chronologically, the first was a military issues paper written in l985. The article discusses, in three short paragraphs, the potential organizational location for UAVs: the Marine Air Support Squadron of the Marine Air Wing (MAW), the Target Acquisition Battery (TAB) of the artillery regiment, and the headquarters battalion of the division. The next two articles were published by Naval Institute Proceedings in a 22 November 1991 supplement. These articles were published interviews with Major General Royal Moore and Major General J. I. Hopkins. The Generals were specifically asked, "The RPVs are, of course, division assets. Do you think that is the best place for them?" Major General Moore's response was,

"They really became more Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) assets than

division, because we had two divisions. But they were too much oriented toward the ground. We found that we had to share the information, and depending on the flow of the battlefield, it may be 80 percent in support of the air and 20 percent in support of the ground, and then as the ground starts to go, it may be 90 percent in support of the ground..."

 

Major General Hopkins response to the same question was,

"No. That was a turf battle at first. They should either be owned by the division, and used by the surveillance, reconnaissance guys; and the artillery-or the assets should be pooled under the MEF. We've got to resolve that."

 

The fourth article, published by the Marine Corps Gazette, was written by the Executive Officer and Operations Officer of 1st UAV Company. The article implies that since UAVs perform missions similar to the OV-10, the UAV companies should be considered


aviation observation squadrons. The article addresses several advantages to moving the UAVs to Aviation, but only addresses a few key points. Almost all other Marine Corps Gazette articles concern either the importance of the Marine Corps' involvement with UAVs or the importance of maintaining a tactical aerial reconnaissance capability. Literature from almost all other sources relates to the value that UAVs add to battle management or concerns UAV programmatic information.


Section Two: Background

 

UAV Basics

 

Drones, RPVs and UAVs. This paper discusses several types of unmanned aerial vehicles: drones, remotely piloted vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and remotely piloted helicopters. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Publication l-02 defines a drone as "a land, sea, or air vehicle that is remotely or utomatically controlled." A Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) is an "unmanned vehicle capable of being controlled from a distant location through a communication link." The two terms are very similar, and for the purposes of this paper can be considered the same thing. The JCS definitions do not imply that a drone or an RPV is an airborne craft; it may be a ground or submarine vehicle. The JCS publication defines a UAV as:

.a powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses

aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry lethal or nonlethal payloads. Ballistic or semiballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles.6

UAVs are the airborne subset of RPVs. When they were in their infancy, almost all UAVs were called drones. However, UAVs have been political "hot potatoes" for decades, and no one in the Department of Defense (DoD) wants Congressional language that confuses UAV issues with other things flying through the air. Therefore, the definitions became more specific over time to avoid confusing UAVs with ballistic projectiles, cruise missiles, guided missiles, tactical air launch decoys, or other robotic systems. Technically, the Pioneer RPV program was misnamed and should have been


called a UAV. The term predominantly used throughout this paper is UAV vice RPV, to minimize confusing the reader. This paper also uses the acronym "UAV" refer to the entire system or program. The terms used to describe the actual flying machine are referred to as the drone or the air vehicle.

UAV System Components. Although each type of UAV system has variances in

design, it must have several basic subcomponents. They are: the unmanned aerial

vehicle, the payload, a ground control station (GCS), the ground data terminal (GDT) (an antenna to receive and transmit the data between the UAV and its ground station), a UAV on-board transceiver, and Ground Support Equipment (GSE). In response to the lessons learned from almost all UAV programs, a seventh element, a remote receiving station, also known as a remote video terminal (RVT), is included or planned for in most systems. Remote video terminals enable the supported unit to directly receive imagery from the air vehicle.

GSE consists of High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs),

five-ton trucks, trailers, generators, radios, launch and recover equipment, and

maintenance equipment. Unlike manned aircraft, a failure in any one of these

subcomponents, external to the airborne platform, will either cause the UAV system to be non-mission capable or cause an in-flight emergency. When considering strategic lift, the GSE consumes the majority of the weight and cubic dimensions of the UAV company. Figure One, on the following page, depicts the Short Range UAV which is scheduled to replace Pioneer UAV.


Image

Misnomers. UAV jargon often uses terms in a different context than that of

manned aviation. Operational availability is one of these terms. In manned aircraft, operational availability, also known as mission capability, means the average number of aircraft capable of flying at any given moment. Because an aircraft squadron has many aircraft, it can almost always perform its mission with an aircraft mission capability rate of 85 percent. A UAV system may have just as many air vehicles available as the manned aircraft squadron, but may not be mission capable because it does not have mission capable GSE. An operational availability of 85 percent in a UAV company would mean that the company could not perform its mission, whatsoever, 15 percent of the time.

The next misnomer is the term "real-time" information. Warfighters consider real-time information as information received in time to target moving objects. However, engineers consider all information "near real-time" because of electronic processing delays. Although delays may only be a few milliseconds, the systems are technically near real-time. The term near real-time often misleads imagery recipients because the amount of time that actually elapses during near real-time collection remains undefined and varies with different programs.

Constraints. UAVs have several major constraints that limit their operational flexibility. The two constraints that affect Marine Corps operations are the datalinks and the methods of launching and recovering the air vehicle. The datalink is the medium through which the operator controls the UAV and receives its imagery. UAVs require a


large exchange of data between the operator and the air vehicle. To perform the data exchange, in the time required, most UAV systems require the uplink and downlink to be on separate frequencies. Missions that require the datalink to be relayed require a minimum of four frequencies. Unfortunately, our tactical UAVs share the same frequencies that other Super High Frequency (SHF) systems use. The combined frequency requirements, and the amount of frequencies available, limits the number of air vehicles that can fly in a given region. Most of the Pioneer UAV crashes in Operation Desert storm were due to interference with the datalink frequency. The next datalink constraint pertains to the GDTs, which transmit and receive the data. The GDT can only control one UAV at a time; this also limits the number of air vehicles that can be airborne. And finally, datalinks require radio line of sight, and because of the curvature

of the earth and terrain features, the air vehicle must constantly increase in altitude, as it extends down range, to maintain the datalink. As the system increases in altitude, the imagery usually degrades. To overcome this, some extended range systems use relays through satellites or other UAVs. The Short Range UAV uses a second airborne air vehicle for relay, which compounds the frequency allocation problems discussed earlier.

The second operational constraint is how the UAV system is designed to launch and recover the air vehicle. The Pioneer air vehicle and almost all other UAVs currently under government contract are fixed-wing air vehicles. These air vehicles require firm runways, and they require an operator skilled in launching and landing the air vehicle. This limits the choice of operators and limits the places from which the UAV mission can originate. The air vehicle launch and recovery period presents the greatest risk


potential of non-combat loss. There are several technological remedies for improving launch and recovery operations; however, the problem will remain for the foreseeable future.

UAV Concepts and the Intelligence Cycle. The intelligence cycle is a five

phase process of: directing the collection effort, collecting the information, processing the information into intelligence, producing a tangible product for the user, and then disseminating the intelligence to the user. An expeditious link from the target locator to the weapons shooter is one of the hardest requirements to fulfill in any collection system. This is because the intelligence cycle takes time, and the target may have moved by the

time weapons are brought on to the target. Even when collection reporting is

instantaneous, processing and disseminating the information may take too much time. The concept of using UAVs offers some solutions to shortening the cycle's time. The UAVs cut processing and production out of the cycle by collecting information and directly disseminating responsive, real time information to the user. Figure Two compares the doctrinal intelligence cycle to the same cycle with UAVs added.

Image 2


Disseminataing Intelligence Products. UAVs collect information for four basic categories: intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), early warning and indications, targeting, and battle damage assessment. Seeing imagery of the battlespace, particularly the objective area, greatly enhances the IPB process. In many planning stages, this information's immediacy is not critical and near real-time or delayed dissemination will suffice. In the remaining three categories, the ground commander may need immediate information about the events that are taking place. He may need to know the enemy is at a named area of interest or at a decision point. However, this type of information does not require imagery; it requires a simple voice or text message.

There is a phenomenal difference in communication requirements between

transmitting text messages and transmitting imagery. To illustrate the difference, compare one page of text and one computer monitor's screen of imagery. One full page of text (500 words) in Ami Pro takes approximately 8 kilobytes of information. An image on a computer monitor can easily take up to 307 kilobytes. This is calculated by multiplying the 640x480 lines that make up the pixels. Regardless of the dissemination medium, we can deduce that imagery requires a 35 fold increase to transmit imagery over the same communications medium.7 Since we must work with constrained frequency allocations and limited time, dissemination requires an efficient process that identifies what needs to be sent, to whom it should be sent, and to where it should be sent.

From an analysis of the initial requirements, the Marine Corps planned to meet its dissemination challenges by procuring enough UAV systems that almost every organization above the company level would get direct UAV support. This nullified the


dissemination process, as shown earlier in Figure Two. However, this plan proved to be imprudent in procurement, manpower, and operational costs, and it had the potential to create airspace mayhem. The Marine Corps is still refining its imagery requirements in terms of what needs to be disseminated and in what quality and quantity. The Marine Corps is also refining its UAV requirements after four decades of concept development.

Early UAV History

Remotely Piloted Helicopters. As the Marine Corps became aware of the utility of the helicopter, it was concerned about the missions, work load and manpower required to equip the Fleet Marine Force with enough helicopters to meet all of its requirements. A concept paper was published in April 1954 "A Study of Marine Corps Requirements for the Remotely Controlled Rotary Wing Aircraft." The report discussed several concepts using Remotely Piloted Helicopters (RPHs) instead of manned helicopters. It suggested that RPHs had three advantages: they would reduce the tasking of helicopter crews; the crews would be kept out of harm's way; and the drones were more cost effective.9 One year later, prototypes from the Kaman Corporation were evaluated by Experimental Helicopter Squadron One and the Landing Force Development Center. Anticipating success, the Marine Corps' Aviation Plan programmed three RPH squadrons to activate starting in fiscal year 1959.10 The plan was based on an understanding that RPHs would not count against the Marine Corps operating aircraft inventory. The squadrons never materialized because the evaluation demonstrated no


advantage over a manned helicopter. The demonstration showed that RPH systems were more expensive, less reliable, and more difficult to operate than initially anticipated.11

Bikini. Experience with the second drone was under the code name Bikini.

While the RPH concept was predominately evaluated for the feasibility of a utility vehicle, the Bikini concept was evaluated for the feasibility of providing organic near real-time reconnaissance to the battalion commander. The Bikini program started in 1959 and, after seven years of research and development, appeared to have great potential. The system would require a team of two Marines, one operator and one technician. The drone teams would be attached to the infantry battalions and perform reconnaissance missions.12

The entire drone system would be carried in one jeep and one trailer, with the trailer doubling as a launcher and cargo carrier. The pneumatic launcher would be recharged by the battalion's flame thrower compressor. The air vehicle would be recovered by the operator flying the drone overhead, cutting the engine, and activating the parachute release. The program planned for the air vehicle to carry a 70mm camera whose film was to be developed by either the division reconnaissance battalion or by the team using a newly developed waterless film processor.13 The basic Bikini drone concept is extremely similar to the standing Marine Corps Concept of Employment for the Close Range UAV published by MCCDC, 26 years later.

The Marine Corps obtained twenty drones, and had Headquarters and Service

Company of Second Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Lejeune participate in the test. Within the year, and over 300 flights later, only 6 of the 20 air vehicles remained. Eleven


of the l4 losses were due to operator error, and a majority of controlling errors were on landing and takeoff. By the end of the developmental test, Bikini demonstrated the potential of UAVs, but the system was not considered suitable.14

DASH and Project Snoopy. Between 1969 and 1972, the Defense Advanced

Research Project Agency developed some advanced applications of an RPH called the QH-50, Drone, Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH.) The DASH, which could carry up to 1000 pounds of payload, was bought with the primary purpose of extending the range of the Navy's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability a safe distance from the ship. However, after some practical experience with the DASH, new concepts were developed. The first advanced application was Project Snoopy, which equipped the drone with television cameras for beach reconnaissance and naval gunfire spotting along the coast of Vietnam. Project enhancements eventually included payload packages with low light level television, lasers for range finding, and armaments of either .50 caliber guns, Gatling guns, or hypervelocity guns. From my research, it appears the Marines became

involved in a DASH adventure called Operation Nite Panther. During this operation, Marines who were ashore were equipped with a jeep configured as a GCS. They would take control of a ship-launched drone and execute clandestine reconnaissance and targeting missions. Upon completing the mission, they would hand control of the drone back to the shipboard operators for recovery. The missions in Southeast Asia attributed to 58 DASH losses, but it could not be determined whether the losses were due to enemy action or malfunction/pilot error. Figure Three shows a variant of the QH-50.


IMAGE #3

Although the DASH program was predominantly a Navy program, there were lessons

about the program that should be mentioned. Of the 750 drones built, 411 crashed within a ten year period. drone's attrition rate perturbed defense officials which lead to the program's cancellation. Then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, in his budget presentation to Congress said, "The DASH ASW Drone helicopter was encountering higher than expected peacetime attrition and lower than expected performance."16 In a similar vein, the GAO stated that the drone had problems because it went into production before the system was adequately developed and tested. DASH attrition was attributed to poor management. The system was exposed to corrosion problems, high crew turnover, improper maintenance procedures, and the crew lacked flight proficiency because of long

periods without training. The Japanese, flying identical systems, achieved l440 flight hours with only 4 losses which was four times better than the American average. The Japanese maintained a daily training program, teamed crews together for several years, and followed the prescribed maintenance procedures. Although McNamara cut the DASH program out of the budget because of cost and attrition, the Navy claimed it replaced the DASH with the SH-2D helicopter because it felt the evolving missions were too critical to rely on a drone.17 Had more emphasis been placed on the DASH, throughout the program's development, it may have overcome its design defects and management problems. However, the program was built under a false sense of urgency, and no one realized how much money and effort would be required to make the system work well.


Renewed Interest In UAVs

By the mid 1970s and early 1980s, the Services were revitalizing their interest in UAVs. The Marine Corps outlined UAV requirements in the l975 Mid-range Plan, and the Army flew its first Aquila UAV prototype in 1976.18 However, Congress believed that the Services were not making headway fast enough. The 1978 House Armed Services Committee reported that:

"The committee has strongly supported the development of remotely piloted

vehicles. However, the significant investment in development and the lack of success in deploying new vehicles have highlighted the Department of Defense's inefficient management in this area."19

 

At about the same time, the GAO was pressuring the military to invest in UAVs because they believed UAVs could be more cost effective than manned aircraft. In 1981, the GAO submitted a report to Congress titled "DoD's Use Of Remotely Piloted Vehicle Technology Offers Opportunities For Saving Lives And Dollars." The report claims that the Services were reluctant to field UAVs because pilots feared a lack of job security. The report goes on to explain that pilots felt that if drones replaced many of them, a pilot's chances for promotion would be less. The report concluded with the GAO recommending:

"the Congress should scrutinize proposed manned aircraft developments to assure that DoD gives adequate consideration to the use of remotely piloted vehicle technology for some missions."20

Israeli Success. Before anyone in the United States fielded a tactical UAV

system, the Israelis had great success with them during Operation Peace for Galilee. The


Israeli Defense Force used the Mastiff UAV and the Israeli Air Force used both the Scout UAV and high speed drone decoys.21 Israelis' overall success caught the attention of the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. In his behalf, an envoy was sent to Israel to examine the Israeli's tactics and weapons. Among the many findings, the Americans discovered that the Israelis had used UAVs for decoying, jamming, and targeting.22

American Failure. The catalyst for getting the Navy and Marine Corps actively involved with UAVs was the peace keeping operation in Beirut, Lebanon. In support of the operation, Sixth Fleet regularly sent F-l4s into the Shouf Mountains for routine photo reconnaissance missions. Each mission required many aircraft for the supporting missions of: aerial refueling, airborne radar control, combat air patrol, and search and rescue.23 The reconnaissance planes routinely took anti-aircraft gunfire, but the Navy never executed retaliatory strikes. Then, on 3 December 1983, a shoulder launched missile was fired at one of the F-l4s. The following morning the USS Independence and the USS Kennedy launched sequential strikes on targets in the Shouf Mountains. The mission planning and execution were less than noteworthy, and the results made

international news. The USS Independence lost one A-7 and another was damaged, but recovered. The USS Kennedy lost an A-6B, its pilot, and had its bombardier navigator taken prisoner.24 After the calamity, Lehman visited the fleet for his own inquiry. Lehman believed the fleet was performing missions to provide information that could be obtained by other means.25


The Mastiff UAV Concept Developer

 

Simple, Inexpensive, and Now. Working to resolve the Sixth Fleet

Commander's reconnaissance problems, Lehman became the principal driver behind the acquisition of the initial Israeli UAV.26 claimed the Israeli system would not only fulfill an urgent need, it would help refine the UAV concepts and requirements of the Navy and Marine Corps. He believed the Israeli concept was simple and affordable and had less "gold plating" than other programs. Lehman decided the UAV program would be executed as a rapid development capability and Air Program Code 202 (later to become PMA-263) was established. Although his actions were controversial, they were consistent with his philosophy that the Washington bureaucracy was too slow to answer any immediate needs.

Lehman helped establish a bilateral agreement with the Israeli government

concerning UAVs. For the price of approximately $7.5 million,27 Israelis would teach the Marines how to operate and maintain a Mastiff UAV system, and when the training was completed, the Marines would take one system back to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The reason the Marine Corps' 2d Division was selected is subject to opinion. Some believe it was based solely on a personal relationship between Lehman and the Division Commander, Major General Alfred Gray.28 Others believe the main reason was that certain staff officers in the Department of Aviation declined any interest in the program. Regardless, it went to the 2d Division and the 10th Marine Artillery Regiment had the vehicles, radios, and time to support UAV operations.


Developing Concepts of Operations. Developing the concept of operations for Marine Corps UAVs kept the participants busy. On 27 January l984, the l0th Marines Artillery Regiment, Target Acquisition Battery, Detachment A deployed for "Operation Thumbs Up." The mission was classified because the Israelis were using the system primarily for real-time targeting, and the United States was sensitive to the international politics that immediately followed Operation Peace for Galilee. Detachment A returned to Camp Lejeune and actively exercised their new Mastiff UAV. On 22 August, the Mastiff UAV detachment was transferred to Headquarters Battalion, Second Marine Division and was designated 1st RPV Platoon. The system was under the operational control of Commander and Chief Atlantic Fleet and participated in several fleet exercises, a Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course at Yuma, Arizona, a combined arms exercise at

Twenty-nine Palms, experimental payload flights from Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, and flew to and from an LPH Class ship.

The Mastiff UAV system held up well considering the circumstances. The

Mastiff Platoon had a combination of helicopter mechanics, artillerymen, and officers that made the system work. One of the maintenance officers had an electrical engineering degree and could trouble shoot avionics. The artillerymen surveyed the site for geo-location accuracy, and the DASC Officer acting as the Assistant Operations Officer would coordinate airspace. The external pilot, the operator who launches and recovers the UAV, was a renown remote control model airplane enthusiast. The few manuals the Marines did receive were in Hebrew, and the manuals they could decipher were often found to be technically incorrect. A shortcoming in the table of equipment forced the


platoon to borrow trucks and radios since they were now removed from the target

acquisition battery.

With some experience, refining the concept development and requirements was well under way. The Marine Corps approved a "backfilled" the "Requirement of

Capabilities Document for the Ground Launched Short Range Remotely Piloted Vehicle" in November 1984, and Headquarters staffed a concept of operations draft by the following summer. Since the Mastiff UAV was almost instantly fielded, the concepts for the system were based on the operators' aspect vice one of sustainment. The concept of logistics was heavily based on contractor support. Since it was a concept developer, there was no reason to think about the system's long term support.

The initial concepts for employment were very simple, and they are virtually the same concepts for the Pioneer UAV and the Short Range UAV. For operations, the system had two controllers: an external pilot and an internal pilot. The external pilot used a portable control station to preflight, launch and recover the air vehicle at an airstrip. The internal pilot, so named because he flew the air vehicle from inside the GCS, would take over control once it was safely airborne. The GCS was located close to DASC and was in direct contact with the fire support coordination center. The internal pilot conducted preplanned missions and reconnoitered targets of opportunity. Alongside

the internal pilot, a photo interpreter would manipulate the payload (a video camera) to determine whether targets were viable or not. Upon mission completion, the internal pilot would electronically "hand-off' the UAV back to the external pilot using the portable control station at the airstrip.29 All maintenance, with the exception of the GCS,


would be performed at the airstrip. The only flaw in the plan was that it lacked an alternative when the portable control station did not work.

Department of the Navy UAV Management

 

To support the program, the Navy and Marine Corps developed a Memorandum

of Agreement (MOA) concerning the development and procurement of Unmanned Air

Vehicles. The MOA, signed in l 98S, is still in effect and outlines the management, test, operations and fiscal aspects of UAVs. The MOA states that the Navy would manage the Navy/Marine Corps UAV Program at Headquarters Naval Air Systems Command. The MOA specifically states:

. for the Miniature Remotely Controlled Vehicle funds would be furnished to the Navy/Marine Corps UAV Program Office as the Marine Corps share of the system's development and testing costs. Training, procurement, and operating costs will be programmed for by the Executive Service.30

 

The Navy is considered the Executive Service in the MOA. The agreement further states that follow-on systems would fall under the fiscal guidance of the Marine Corps.

Pioneer UAV

The Mastiff UAV acquitted itself well enough to pursue more UAVs. Lehman

wanted to quickly field a UAV system and avoid the errors of the Army's Aquila UAV. Aquila had been under development for ten years, had a $2.4 billion cost, and was under great scrutiny by the GAO. Skyeye UAV, also under development by the Army, was being used in Central America, but it was large and designed for heavier payloads. Navy


and Marine Corps sentiments about Army UAV development were so negative that in

April 1985, the Commandant directed that the Marine Corps would not make any move toward an Army system without consulting him first.31 So Lehman had the Navy pursue an "off-the-shelf' UAV system with a contract specification extremely close to the capabilities to of the Pioneer UAV system, which was Mastiff UAV derivative. To expedite the program, the Navy's contract proposal required a competitive "fly off' for the best system 75 days after it released the invitation for bids.

Only two companies put bids in for the Navy contract: Pacific Aerosystems,

which made the Heron 26; and Mazlat, which made the Pioneer UAV. Like the Mastiff, there was no stated requirement for a nighttime imaging payload. This overqualified and overpriced Developmental Sciences Corporation's Skyeye R4E-40 and Lockheed's Aquila UAV Programs. When Pacific Aerosystems was not ready on the fly-day, Mazlat won the competition by default. The Navy awarded a contract for three systems in 1986, two in l987, and four in l988. Each system would have eight UAVs, two portable ground control stations, two remote receiving stations, and system specific support equipment.32 Lehman did not want to have the UAV system's procurement held back with "typical Washington bureaucracy," so he also called the Pioneer UAV the "Interim" Short Range UAV to get around the acquisition regulations.

In September l986, the 2d Marine Division received its Pioneer UAV system.

The UAV Platoon was renamed Second UAV Company, and it warehoused the Mastiff

UAV that November. In January and June l987, 1st and 3d UAV Companies,

respectively, were activated at Twenty-nine Palms, California. The Pioneer system was


so new that the Israelis taught the course concurrently to the American instructors and the Marines.33 April l987, the Marine Corps Development and Education Command published the Operational Handbook (OH 2-2) for Remotely Piloted Vehicles which was derived from the "Concept of Operations for Remotely Piloted Vehicles."

The Pioneer UAV program had a rough start and never got much better. One

opinion speculated that some in NAVAIR resented the UAV system being pushed on

them. A successful program without a logistics support analysis (LSA) had the potential to disrupt the entire acquisition process.34 Other reasons for Pioneer's problems can be attributed to Lehman planning on having the Pioneer for three or four years at the most. In that case, a full LSA would not have been warranted and full contractor support would have been more cost effective. Consequently, the Pioneer UAV program never had its logistics support analysis (LSA) completed, its spares were not fully funded, and the system's availability suffered. However, the Marine Corps' problems were not all related

to the equipment.

Training and Personnel

 

Department of Defense UAV Training Center. The DoD UAV Training

Center, known as DUTC, is located at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. DUTC teaches Army,

Navy and Marine students five scheduled courses: external pilot, internal pilot, electronic technician, air vehicle mechanics, and payload operators. The school does not have a simulator and uses one UAV system for all hands-on training.35 In the morning, the internal pilots, external pilots, and payload operators train with an air vehicle flying. In


the afternoon, the mechanics and technicians tear the system down and reassemble it. The school seats in highest demand are the external pilot course, recently shortened to 19 weeks, and the internal pilot course, which lasts eight weeks. The equipment limits students to two per course and throughput is relatively inflexible. The external pilot course requires prior remote control model airplane experience. Units recruit through "All Marine Message" traffic and Base newspapers. Since there are no MOSs for remote control model airplane flying, it was impossible to select the correct primary MOS for assignments. Prerequisites for the other courses are related to a variety of MOSs and are not hard to structure.

Personnel and the Revolving Door. There were several circumstances that

affected Pioneer training readiness. In many situations, Marines that went to the UAV companies already had two years at their duty station and were subject to rotating to a new duty station at anytime. Since there was neither a school code, nor an MOS for UAV trained personnel, HQMC Manpower had no method of tracking or locating experienced candidates. Because of the limited time left on station, Marines often got trained and then left the company within the year.36 These inefficiencies wasted travel dollars and often cut the other Services, and sometimes other Marine UAV company's students, out of the available school seats. To be fair to all the Services, the Pioneer Program Manager established a student priority. First priority went to students with permanent change of

station orders to an UAV unit, second went to students with less than one year on station, and last went to students with more than one year on station.


No one besides the Program Manager and the Company Commanders realized the

training inefficiencies until l992. That September, MARCORSYSCOM "zeroed"

Pioneer UAV training funds after they determined the system should no longer be

considered new equipment.37 Concurrently MCCDC Training and Education did not

recognize DUTC as formal training and would not fund training either. Although these errors are being corrected, it will take time to achieve a fully trained UAV company.

Summary

When comparing the challenges of each UAV system, there were several

similarities. Each program fell short of what was originally anticipated. The RPH was expensive and difficult to operate, the Bikini drone required aviation-like skills, the DASH continually crashed into the sea. Each UAV system had major performance tradeoffs. The RPH was agile but unreliable; the Bikini was simple but the imagery was not real-time; and the Pioneer UAV required a runway. Other systems, such as the Army Skyeye, had long endurance, but were expensive and too large for easy deployability. Almost all the systems required people with greater skill and mechanical aptitude than were available. All of the UAV programs had some degree of technical difficulty that could not be overcome before they were canceled. When costs for replacing crashed air vehicles were included, the systems were much more expensive than anticipated. And finally, all of the UAV systems required more command attention and effort than anyone

thought were necessary.


Section 3: The Analysis

 

The analysis proposes three alternatives to determine the optimal location

for UAV management. The three proposed alternative solutions are:

 

. Alternative l: Improve Current UAV Management and Leave Operational

Control in the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and

Intelligence Group.

 

. Alternative 2: Move UAV Management and Operational Control to

Aviation.

 

. Alternative 3: Move Management to Aviation but Leave UAVs Under

Operational Control of the Command Element.

 

The criteria for the analysis was developed from interviews with subject matter

experts, from briefing excerpts, and from a wargaming session conducted in the

Spring l994. The criteria are:

. Feasibility of Disseminating the Collected Information

. Manning Requirements

. Maintenance

. Airspace Management

. Strategic Lift and Deployment Flexibility

. Cost

. Training

. Doctrine Impact

 

To facilitate comparing the three alternatives using the eight criteria, I used a method similar to the Multi-factor Evaluation Process (MFEP). This is an established quantitative management process that assists the decision maker when there are many factors to be considered. Using this approach, I subjectively and intuitively assigned


weights to the criteria, with the total weight of all eight criteria adding up to 1.0. The criteria weights remain constant for all three alternatives. Since the mission of the UAV company is to provide unmanned aerial reconnaissance, the criteria are weighted as to their importance in completing the mission (see Table One below.)

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Continuing with the guidelines of the MFEP, I assigned evaluation weights that ranged on a scale from point one (0.l) to point five (0.5), with 0.1 representing an alternative with a definite disadvantage and O.5 representing an alternative with definite advantage (see Table Two). Unlike the criteria weights, the sum of the evaluation weights was not limited to 1.0. However, the individual evaluation factors were kept between 0.0 and 1.0 to ensure the results were kept to scale.


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Throughout the analysis the criteria are discussed individually. After the criteria discussion, the alternatives are rated using the scale in Table Two. The alternative is then assigned a score which is the product of the criteria weight and the evaluation factor. At the conclusion of the analysis, the alternatives' total score showed the best overall solution.

Assumptions

The alternatives developed for the analysis have several basic assumptions. First, the analysis assumes that the UAV company's communication links will be limited to standard Marine Corps communications equipment. This assumption is a realistic constraint that limits ideas that call for expenditures for new communications equipment and satellite leasing. The analysis also assumes that the logistics problems of training, spare parts, and technical manuals will remain with the Pioneer RPV program until it is deactivated. This assumption is based on Congress' historical reluctance to spend money on the Pioneer UAV system when it is close to being phased out. The Marine Corps


UAV Program Manager is also under the opinion that Pioneer UAV logistics would not be frilly developed within its remaining years. The last assumption pertains to the garrison location of the UAV system. If the system is under the operational control of the SRIG, the UAV companies will remain at their current locations which are Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Twenty-nine Palms, California. If the UAV company comes under the operational control of the Aviation Combat Element, they will locate at Marine Corps air bases or airfields.

Alternative 1 - Improve Current UAV Management and Leave Operational

Control in the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group.

This alternative closely represents how the UAV companies were established

prior to December l994, with minor improvements incorporated to improve readiness. This alternative keeps the UAV company under operational and administrative control of the SRJG. The SRIG remains responsible for staffing, training, and supporting the UAV company. The SRIG's Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SARC), which manages the MEF intelligence collection effort, tasks the company with missions. The UAV company retains all of its communication vehicles, equipment, and personnel, and it remains responsible for disseminating intelligence products via its organic communications section. The company passes intelligence information via the doctrinal intelligence networks or via direct communications with the unit it supports. The company coordinates its airspace requirements through the MEF Air Operations Section (MEF G-3 Air). The MEF G-3 Air Officer then coordinates the UAV airspace


requirements with the Marine Air Wing. Prior to air vehicle takeoff, the UAV operations section receives airspace clearance from the DASC. The UAV company's maintenance section performs first and second echelon maintenance on generators and trucks and performs up to fourth echelon maintenance on UAV specific equipment. The Force Service Support Group (FSSG) conducts third and fourth echelon repairs on the company's heavy equipment (forklifts, HMMWVs, and five ton trucks.) The UAV companies use the Marine Corps Integrated Maintenance Management System and the Supported Activity Supply System (MIMMS/SASSY), and Marine Corps Logistics Bases coordinating manufacturer or depot level maintenance repairs. MARCORSYSCOM and NAVAIR have clearly defined responsibilities concerning UAV program management, and MARCORSYSCOM sources the funding for operations and maintenance. MCCDC retains its functions of developing the troop list, training and education, requirements generation, concepts and plans, and studies and analysis, etc. The organizational manning

is predominantly ground-related MOSs; however, Aviation related occupational fields fill several leadership billets. The UAV companies develop Marine Corps-wide standard operating procedures for operations, maintenance, and training. HQMC C4I assumes occupational field sponsorship and MOS specialist responsibilities. HQMC Plans, Policies, and Operations is the central point of contact for issues concerning UAVs.


Alternative 2 - Move UAV Management and Operational Control to

Aviation.

Under this alternative, Aviation assumes responsibility for the operations, training, maintenance, and funding of UAV systems. The Aviation Combat Element (ACE) takes operational and administrative control of UAV systems and the accompanying personnel. The UAV companies become squadrons and higher headquarters' tasks are filtered through the MAW and the Marine Air Group (MAG). The UAV squadrons adopt a training and readiness program which emulates other Aviation programs. The UAV squadrons transfer their non-UAV equipment (forklifts, generators, tents, and extraneous trucks, etc.) and facilities personnel to the Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS). Non-UAV system specific communications equipment and related personnel transfer to the Marine Wing Communications Squadron (MWCS). Prior to deployment, the UAV squadrons request support from the MWSS and the MWCS, similar to other Aviation squadrons. The Naval Aviation Maintenance Program (NAMP) delineates the maintenance practices and procedures for UAV system equipment (air vehicles, ground data terminals, etc.), and the squadron uses the MIMMSISASSY for the remainder of the squadron's table of equipment. The squadron has an aviation maintenance officer assigned for overall maintenance control, and a clerk assigned for MIMMSISASSY management and administration. The UAV system's third and fourth echelon maintenance converts to intermediate maintenance, and the Marine Air Logistic Squadron (MALS) conducts these repairs. The FSSG repairs heavy equipment, generators and

ground-based communications equipment. Mishap and hazard reporting falls under the


Naval Aviation Safety Program. MCCDC retains all of its functions as described under alternative one. Aviation assumes responsibility for occupational field sponsorship and MOS specialists. Naval Air Depots or the manufacturer conducts depot level repair. HQMC and NAVAIR relations remain as they currently exist. HQMC Aviation is the central point of contact for UAV policy issues concerning Joint Force Air Component Commander, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

Alternative 3 - Move Management to Aviation but leave UAVs under

Operational Control of the Command Element.

This alternative combines the first two alternatives in order to determine if a hybrid alternative is the optimal solution. Under this alternative, Aviation assumes responsibility for the maintenance, training, and providing the required occupational fields. Aviation has administrative control of the UAV company and the SRIG has operational control. The UAV organizations remain as companies. The SRJG collates requests for intelligence collection and assigns collection tasks to the UAV company. Operations and maintenance funding for the UAV system's equipment comes from Aviation. MARCORSYSCOM provides funds for the operations and maintenance of the remainder of the table of equipment. The UAV companies abide by the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program and the Naval Aviation Safety Program. Communications and engineering support, and the people required to operate this equipment, remains with the UAV company. Parts requiring intermediate level maintenance are shipped to the MALS


via the fastest available means. The UAV companies deploy with a "parts pack up" to avoid waiting for spare parts to come from the MALS. HQMC Aviation and Plans,

Policies, and Operations coordinates issues concerning external agencies.

Criteria #l: Feasibility of Disseminating UAV Products

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the dissemination criteria is the one that best enables the UAV company to communicate and transmit imagery and data across the theater of operations in the simplest and most practical manner. Alternative one leaves the company with what appears to be a robust

dissemination capability. With this alternative the company has High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios as permanent property. These radios enable the company to monitor nine radio networks for operations. These networks are: UAV operations, tactical air direction, landing force intelligence, helicopter direction, naval gunfire, fire support coordination, conduct of fire, landing force reconnaissance, and landing force tactical networks. The variety of networks are necessary because the UAV company must be capable of interfacing with all the agencies that it might support. Additionally, the company must coordinate its missions with other agencies to prevent mutual interference. The companies also have radios in the table equipment to provide an intra-company telephone capability for routine

operations and relay equipment to extend radio ranges. Despite the amount of equipment, the companies have had a history of problems communicating with units that are


separated by a great distance from the company, and they have had problems

communicating directly with pilots flying in the vicinity.

Alternative one and three keep the communications equipment in the UAV

company which is how they have historically operated. This concept supports

communication doctrine which normally has the supporting units (the UAV company in this case) responsible for providing their own communication equipment. This is a necessary, but heavy burden on the UAV company, considering the number of networks that require monitoring. If the UAV company is working from a distant runway, which it frequently does, it must also establish radio relays to maintain radio contact with the supported units. This places an even heavier burden on the UAV companies. If the imagery is sent to the SRIG, which has a robust communication network (Super High Frequency (SHF), microwave, and multi-channel radios), many of the dissemination problems can be resolved. However, the UAV company does not always have access to this equipment because it requires a runway and can not always colocate with the SRIG.

Alternative two combines the communication capabilities of the MWSS and the DASC. Communication with the DASC has several advantages. First, it has

ground-to-air radio equipment and multi-channel microwave telephone networks. This gives it a reliable communication link with MEF operations and the SARC, and retransmission requirements are no longer the company's responsibility. Second, the DASC is usually in direct contact with the fire support coordination center. This enables the UAV operators to centrally coordinate targets for air or artillery attack. This alternative also enables the company to capitalize on other communications assets. The


MWSS provides each MAG with high volume multi-channel radio equipment to

communicate with higher headquarters. The MAG communication equipment includes

multi-channel radios which support wide area and local area networks. Alternative two may limit the flexibility of the system because the company no longer has organic communications equipment. The centralization of equipment may require the UAV squadrons to compete for communication assets in certain situations; and not every situation can be anticipated. If communications equipment is required on a routine basis, there is nothing to prevent some equipment remaining at the UAV company. Aviation squadrons routinely have radios available to talk with incoming aircraft. In a worst case scenario, the UAV company almost always has the option to move adjacent to the supported unit.

Comparison. Alternative one and three have a slight disadvantage because of the effort required to man and equip relay stations and continuously man all the radio networks. Alternative two has a slight advantage because it capitalizes on capable, centralized communications. Alternative two is not rated as a great advantage because centralized comunications can potentially limit flexibility. Table Three compares the weighted results of this criteria.


Criteria #2: Manning Requirements

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the manning requirements criteria is the one that enables the company to provide UAV missions while minimizing the manpower requirements of the Marine Corps.

The proper table of organization has never been determined for UAV companies. Since Pioneer UAV was procured without an Integrated Logistics Support Plan, the manning level and the correct MOSs for it were a "best guess." Upon his return from "Operations Thumbs Up," the detachment commander noted that operating the Mastiff RPV system definitely required aviation experience. However, Aviation was reluctant to give up the manpower. Aviation claimed it would be misusing training resources if their personnel were placed in a program that lacked Hardware and Manpower Integration Analysis or the Logistics Support Analysis. Consequently, the companies have been manned with artillerymen, truck drivers, electronic repair technicians, and an occasional aviator or air defense officer.

Without the benefit of a manpower analysis, the advantages between ground and aviation MOSs appear to be minimal. Many of the job skills in the UAV company require MOSs that are used in other support organizations; these skills are: generator mechanics, truck drivers, intelligence analysts, wire men, etc. Some MOSs skills are so similar to each other that picking a ground or an aviation occupational field probably will not make a difference. For example, the radar repair MOSs can be found in the artillery battery and the air control group. Miniature electronic component repair can be found in the Force Service Support Group, Forward Anti-Air Defense Battalion, and the MALS.


However, not all skills are transferable, such as experienced aviators, air controllers, and safety officers.

Comparison. Alternative one, which appears to require the largest amount of people, requires further examination. We must evaluate what it takes to do the company's mission before evaluating which manning level is the most appealing. Alternative one does not change the UAV company's mission or how it accomplishes its mission. This alternative requires the largest amount of people because the UAV company provides self-security, transportation, communication, and it does not have to wait for someone else to fix their UAV system's equipment. The company's combat workload is large, and it is dispersed among a large number of Marines.

Alternative two gives the ACE many benefits while supporting its UAV squadron. Since the personnel normally supporting maintenance and communications move to different MAW organizations, the UAV is stripped of a large portion of its size. The other organizations of the MAW are now richer in personnel with the assumption that centralized manning is just as good for UAV squadrons as it is for regular squadrons. A savings in personnel is not likely to be realized by the Marine Corps because the total workload has not changed. In alternative two, the UAV squadron not only works from a more secure area, the amount of security personnel are supplied from many units. Under this alternative, the UAV squadron still performs reconnaissance missions, but does it with less people immediately on hand.


Alternative three maintains the communication personnel in the UAV company

but moves the maintenance personnel to the MALS. The remainder of the company is

basically unaffected. This alternative down-sizes the manning level of the company; however, the company performs its missions as if nothing else has changed. This puts the company at a definite disadvantage because the mission in this alternative still requires the UAV company to provide security to its perimeter. However, a large number of the personnel were provided by the maintenance department, which has moved to the MALS. As the company becomes smaller, the wartime workload becomes greater for the remaining personnel.

In summary, the apparent manning difference is justifiable between the first two alternatives because the missions are accomplished in a different manner. However, the stated criteria is to maintain mission capability while minimizing the manning requirements of the Marine Corps. Considering the criteria, alternative one appears to have a slight disadvantage because the mission may be accomplished in a more efficient manner. Alternative two has the highest probability of shifting manpower but not reducing requirements. Alternative three reduces manpower, but places the company in jeopardy because the mission is the same but the manning levels are reduced. Table Four compares the weighted results of this criteria.

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Criteria 3: Maintenance

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the criteria for maintenance is the one that provides the highest system capability with the lowest cost in parts and manpower.

Alternative one recommends maintaining the UAV system with all maintenance procedures falling under the guidelines of MIMMSISASSY. It also suggests using all ground maintenance MOSs and performing up to fourth echelon maintenance repairs at the company's location. Localizing repair enables the UAV company to retain maintenance control. There are several disadvantages to the Marine Corps when it creates third and fourth echelon "satellite" repair facilities similar to that of the UAV company. First, the Marine Corps' overall repair capability suffers because electronic maintenance technicians are dispersed over many units. These Marines are in high demand because of the dispersion, and they are not easy to replace because they require a lengthy training to obtain their skills. Every technician tied to the UAV company is one that is not repairing equipment for the total force. Second, focusing the technicians only on UAV systems may be a misuse of manpower and talent. Although the systems require

troubleshooters during missions, it is hard to imagine that one or two UAV systems would keep a third or fourth echelon electronic technician gainfully employed. Also, by being secluded from the FSSG, the technician does not remain proficient in the repair of other equipment, and he does not continue to develop the management skills expected of a Marine in the FSSG. The alternative could propose leaving the Marines at the FSSG and ship the components for repair. This, too, has disadvantages. If the UAV system's components were sent there, the speed of repair would depend on the current workload of
the FSSG. The only way to circumvent the FSSG first-in-first-out (FIFO) repair

sequence would require high-level command intervention, or require the UAV Company to have a higher Force Activity Designator (FAD)39 than the organizations competing for repair. Neither of these two options are likely. Alternative two employs the NAMP. Like MIMMS/SASSY, the NAMP establishes required maintenance, supply and documentation procedures. However, aviation platforms, and their subcomponents, are typically more expensive and are in fewer quantities than ground systems. To maintain the established aviation readiness goals, the repair cycle must be more responsive than the ground maintenance cycle. Several organizational and procedural differences enable this alacrity. First, the MALS is located within the same MAG as the UAV squadron.. Therefore, both organizations work for the same MAG commanding officer. This creates a tight system of accountability for mission capability, maintenance, and supply. Additionally, the physical location of the MALS and the squadron are very close, and transferring parts back and forth is relatively cheap and simple. Aviation does not employ "satellite" repair facilities because its force structure is designed for centralized maintenance and because of the high cost of specialized tools and test equipment. Alternative two offers a spin-off advantage in that it can centralize its spare parts in the Naval Aviation Supply System, since the Navy is employing the same UAV systems.

Alternative three is virtually the same as alternative two except the MALS is separated from the UAV company. This could slow repair time because the overall maintenance effort is split in two locations. For example, while in garrison, 2d UAV


Company is located in Camp Lejeune. The nearest MALS is at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, normally a 50 minute drive. At Twenty-nine Palms, the nearest MALS is at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California and takes several hours of driving. Overcoming the disadvantage of distance requires a larger quantity of spare parts kept at the company level. In wartime, the distance between the MALS and the UAV company may become overburdening. Also, if it were more cost effective to stock large quantities of parts than to repair them quickly, we might as well use the MIMMS/SASSY program. Either way, the disadvantage of not having a local repair facility would either increase the

costs of operating the system because of parts storage, or reduce the operational availability of the system while it waits for parts.

Comparison. Alternative one requires a satellite maintenance capability which requires expensive test equipment to be located at the UAV company. The localized manpower enables a quick response to repairs, but may have a detrimental effect on the skills of the repairmen. Because there are so few UAV systems, we can assume the repairmen will have a lot of idle time. Alternative two provides a much greater advantage than the others. It provides a system of quick repair, minimizes the quantity of spares required, minimizes the maintenance personnel, and maintains repairmen training at the highest level. Alternative three does not offer an advantage because the outlined assumptions state that the analysis is working with Pioneer UAV's logistic system. There

are too few spare parts to keep a viable parts storeroom. If parts were available this


alternative would still require a cost analysis before an advantage was realized. Table Five compares the weighted results of this criteria.

Criteria #4: Airspace Management

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the criteria for airspace management is the one that best allows both UAVs and manned aircraft to use the same airspace with the least amount of effort.

UAVs present serious hazards while flying in airspace with other aircraft for a number of reasons. First, most UAVs have flight parameters similar to low performance aircraft; they are hard to see by the naked eye and difficult to detect on radar. Second, the UAVs that have imaging payloads have a very narrow field of view, which only affords a "soda straw" perspective to the UAV operator. This poor visual perspective diminishes most chances of seeing and avoiding other airborne platforms. Finally, because the UAV payload does not give the operator much situational awareness, UAVs can not be responsive to evasive maneuvers for mid-air avoidance like manned aircraft.

Airspace control prevents mutual interference from all users of the air space. This includes high performance aircraft as well as missiles, helicopters, and UAVs. To comply with airspace management, the Marine Corps UAV companies use doctrine that


emulates manned aviation. Doctrinally and operationally, there is nothing to preclude the air vehicle from flying the same air control points and air corridors that are published in the air control order. Had the Pioneer UAV company not been able to comply with established airspace procedures, the Marine Corps probably would have never let their air vehicles off the ground. If the UAV operators, pilots, and airspace controllers are doing their job correctly, UAVs only pose a minor risk to the safety of other aircraft. Regardless

of who is in operational control, the risks of poor airspace coordination, air vehicle software failures, and airborne platforms wandering out of their assigned air space will always be present.

Comparison. There are no advantages or disadvantages to alternative one and three. The airspace has always been coordinated between the company and the DASC prior to any UAV taking off. Pilots that are fearful of flying in airspace shared with UAVs will not gain any assurance of greater safety if the air vehicles are flown by one Marine Corps organization or the other. Alternative two has a slight advantage with this criteria. First, it places all airspace management under the direct control of the ACE. The ACE will be directly responsible for disseminating the air tasking order and ensuring airspace deconfliction. One could suppose the ACE would do this whether or not they

had operational control of the companies. However, the advantage of this alternative is that the ACE is now solely responsible for ensuring that the correct measures are implemented. The ACE will also be able to work Joint Force Air Component Commander issues without having to first coordinate with the SRIG. Second, if UAVs


are in manned airspace and the mission can not support simultaneous support of manned and unmanned aircraft, there is one central agency to decide who remains in the area. This situation may arise when there is a target rich environment in which artillery and close air support are working in close proximity. Table Six compares the weighted results of this criteria.

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Criteria #5: Strategic Lift and Deployment Flexibility

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that minimizes the strategic lift while still providing the company with enough flexibility to accomplish its mission.

Transporting the entire Pioneer UAV company into theater requires approximately five C-5 Galaxy aircraft. This strategic lift requirement is exceptionally large because of the amount of support equipment the company requires to accomplish its mission. The Pioneer RPV company has over ten High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) for radio transportation, and it has as many as 9 five-ton trucks to haul the air vehicles, GSE, and field gear. The companies bring their own armory, imagery exploitation equipment, electrical power generators, fuel trucks, and a maintenance section complete with third and fourth echelon test equipment. The Short Range UAV,


shown in Figure One, will require approximately five C-5 aircraft just to transport UAV system-specific equipment.

Comparison. Alternative one maintains a high degree of employment flexibility one the system gets to the operational theater because the company is virtually left autonomous. The system is capable of deploying in the field, sustaining itself, and providing side-by-side operations with the supported unit. However, once the company is in place, most of the vehicles sit idle. Although this alternative provides a large degree of flexibility, it may be more advantageous to have a contingency plan for mobility than to carry seldom used equipment into a theater of operations.

Using alternative two reduces the UAV company's lift requirements by combining the company's organic maintenance, communications, and field support sections. The company's lift is reduced because it depends on the MALS for maintenance, the MWCS for communications and the MWSS for field support equipment. Additionally, the UAV will be able to use the DASC communications networks to receive mission assignments and transmit collected information. This alternative does not assume that strategic lift requirements will be lessened by transferring assets; it assumes that much of the equipment can be eliminated because it is redundant.

Alternative three remains at a slight disadvantage in minimizing lift requirements. The maintenance lift requirement is less, but the communications equipment remains the same. The alternative seems to provide a greater degree of flexibility than alternative two but it does not. The communications equipment used by aviation is more robust and

more compact than that of the current UAV company. Therefore, this alternative

compared to alternative two provides less communications capability for a greater lift requirement. Additionally, the space saved in maintenance equipment may wind up being used for stocking spare parts, if they were available.

In summary, alternative one requires the most strategic lift and provides a degree of flexibility that may be provided by other means. Alternative two minimizes strategic lift and provides flexibility with support organizations. Alternative three falls between the other alternatives in strategic lift because maintenance is provided by the MALS, and flexibility remains equal to alternative one. Considering the opportunity cost for strategic

lift, alternative two is the best choice. Table Seven compares the weighted results of this criteria.

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Criteria #6: Cost

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that minimizes the total operations and maintenance costs, as well as the opportunity costs of using UAVs, while maintaining a high state of readiness.

Operating and maintaining UAV companies is expensive. Per the Navy-Marine

Corps UAV MOA, the Navy Program Office has provided the funds to operate the


Pioneer UAV Systems, and it is difficult to break out which costs strictly pertain to the Marine Corps. However, the Marine Corps will be expected to pay for the operations and maintenance costs in the near future. These costs are optimistically predicted to be approximately $3 million per year, and they do not include the additional costs of both manpower and the operations and maintenance of Marine Corps specific equipment. In comparing the costs of the alternatives, it is logical to assume that UAV system-specific costs would be the same for the three alternatives. It is also logical to assume that

MARCORSYSCOM would pay for non-system specific equipment such as extra

generators, radios, vehicles, etc., regardless of who pays for the UAV specific equipment. To determine the true cost benefit, this analysis considered the alternative's opportunity costs, manpower costs, and operational costs of employing the UAV system. A major opportunity cost is the strategic lift which has already been discussed. The MEF Commander can transport a tremendous amount of fire power in five C-5 aircraft in lieu of one UAV company. The commander may decide that deploying ground troops or attack helicopters into the theater may be more advantageous and provide greater versatility than deploying limited-purpose UAVs.

Comparison. Alternative one would have MARCORSYSCOM fund the entire

operations and maintenance cost of UAVs. This alternative requires the largest amount of manning and the largest amount of organic ground equipment. Therefore, the costs directly attributable to the UAV company are much higher. In comparison, alternative two uses the least amount of ground equipment because it capitalizes on the assets of the


MWSS and MWCS. A manpower cost comparison between alternative one and two is

likely to show no difference since the support personnel are transferring from one location to another and not necessarily being eliminated. The MWSS and MWCS will require more equipment and personnel than they had prior to supporting the UAV companies. Since a side-by-side comparison has not been made, a cost advantage of alternative two over alternative one can not be made.

Alternative three remains in between the other alternatives considering people and equipment. Alternative three would set a precedent which is not likely to be accepted by the Aviation Community. It calls for Aviation to pay for a system that it does not control.

In my analysis, I also considered the opportunity costs of trading strategic lift for the flexibility that mobility provides. With alternative one and three, the UAV company has a large degree of mobility once it is in theater. Depending on the theater of operations, the transportation costs may be worth the mobility. I took two things into account. First, we are professing littoral warfare and maneuver from the sea, and we will be operating a UAV system with a range of one hundred miles. The costs of transporting a UAV company with great mobility may not be worth the costs. We must also consider that during Desert Storm the UAV companies made less than a handful of moves in the nine months they were in theater. MAG 26, in comparison, made three moves in less than

six months with transportation support coming from the MAW.

In summary, determining the total costs of operating and sustaining UAV systems will be difficult to quantify for several years. The actual costs of operating only the UAV


system will be the same, regardless of who is in operational control. The difference will be dependent upon how the Marine Corps employs the system. Alternative one will have the largest table of equipment, and therefore, will have the highest operations and maintenance costs. The maintenance costs of this equipment is not extreme, so the alternative was judged as a slight disadvantage. Alternative three has the same disadvantages. Alternative two has a slight advantage in that it conserves some money and strategic lift by centralizing assets. Table Eight compares the weighted results of this

criteria.

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Criteria #7: Training

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that can most efficiently train Marines and enable them to retain their proficiency.

Training requirements are normally developed as a logistics task in the process of acquiring a new system. The program manager develops training by comparing the skills required to operate the system and then looks for MOSs that have comparable skills. This comparison is called a Hardware and Manpower Integration Analysis. Once training requirements are determined, the program manager pays for training on new equipment while the Service's budgeting system programs for future funding responsibilities. Some


programs require a formal training syllabus while others get by with onthe-job-training. Since the Marine Corps has few, if any, occupational fields that have skills similar to flying and repairing remote control airplanes, UAV operators and maintainers require formal training. The occupational field sponsor allocates school quotas and travel funds for formal training. When there are funding shortfalls for formal training, the occupational field sponsor decides on the priority of training.

There are two major drawbacks to anyone attempting to manage Pioneer RPV

training. First, the lack of a completed Hardware Manpower Integration Analysis for both the Pioneer UAV system and the Short Range UAV system make selecting suitable MOSs for training an educated guess. In the past, there have been several mishaps due to the mechanics making minor errors that might not have been critical if they were working on a truck; however, they were very critical when working on an air vehicle. Although those mishaps may also be linked to training deficiencies, choosing a more closely related MOS may have prevented these mishaps. The second major drawback in training is the DUTC student throughput. The student training rate is very finite and is not going to

change from one sponsor to the other. To optimize the cost of training, the occupational field sponsor will have to work in close coordination with HQMC Manpower Management to coordinate school seats and track training.

The major difference in ground and aviation training is how the two manage and maintain standards. Ground MOSs have individual training standards that are outlined in Marine Corps Order 1510 Series. Aviation uses the Aviation Training and Readiness Manual (T&R Manual), Marine Corps Order 3500.1 Series. Each ground related MOS


has an individual Marine Corps Order within the 1510 series that outlines performance standards. The T&R Manual is a five volume series designed to standardize aircrew and Marine Air Command and Control System Personnel training to specific performance requirements. The two references are very similar; they both establish MOS standards which are eventually evaluated by the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System. The major difference, however, is that Aviation's T&R Manual requires each aircrewman or air controller to maintain proficiency to ensure safety and combat readiness. This proficiency is maintained by systematically monitoring the frequency of how often training takes place. Some training skills are considered perishable and require

a high frequency of repetition; other skills are simpler and are repeated much less often. Although Aviation has automated their system and made it somewhat sophisticated, they are not the only Marine organizations that closely monitor proficiency. Marine Corps scuba divers and parachutists have similar programs to ensure proficiency. All of the programs that measure proficiency have the goal of maintaining a mix of combat readiness and safety.

Comparison. Alternative one places the occupational field sponsor in HQMC

C4I which would be appropriate since the system is an intelligence collector. This would also allow C4I to determine the training priorities if there was a training dollar shortfall. There has only been one short period in recent history that training dollars for formal training were limited. Alternative two and three have training responsibilities belonging to Aviation. Aviation can determine its training priorities just as well as C4I. One can


argue that although Aviation has a well developed training management program, it is not fully developed for UAVs. It would be just as easy for someone else to develop the same program. Aviation's advantage is that it has the expertise to incorporate the UAVs into the system vice having to start from scratch. Previous attempts to standardize UAV operations, similar to aviation, were met with resistance by non-aviation UAV Company Commanders. Assuming the "incorporated changes" were made to alternative one, which includes a proficiency program, there is no advantage of one alternative over the other.

There is another aspect to training that must not be overlooked. There are only a few MALS, and they are usually in two types of groups, rotary-wing and fixed wing. This narrows the variety of MOSs and the number of Marines that fill MALS billets. By placing the UAV intermediate maintenance in the MALS, vice the FSSG, the Marine Corps has the potential to minimize the number of people it has to cycle through training at DUTC. The counter argument is that FSSG can track secondary MOS training just as well as Aviation. Overall, I saw little advanatge of one alternative over the other. Table Nine compares the weighted results for this criteria.

Image


Criteria #8: Doctrine Impact

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that least affects the doctrine of the Marine Corps. Doctrine is not difficult to change; however, this analysis looked beyond transparent doctrine and tried to determine if the roles and missions of the SRIG, Aviation or the Marine Corps would change by transferring UAVs. The analysis also compared how the SRIG and MAW tasked their respective

organizations to determine if this would cause a major shift in MEF operations.

Marine Air-Ground Task Force Intelligence Operation (Fleet Marine Force

Manual (FMFM) 3-2l, and UAV Company Operations, FMFM 3-22-i, thoroughly

outline the responsibilities of intelligence collection and UAV company responsibilities. While in garrison, the SRIG is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping its units to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence missions. When the SRIG deploys, it forms the MEF Commander's intelligence section. The intelligence section has a Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SARC) which centrally tasks external agencies to collect information. The Collection Requirements Officer, working in the SARC, refines and details collection requirements and plans how to employ ground assets. The SARC tasks the ACE with collection missions; however, it does not plan how

to employ the ACE assets. Doctrine for Aviation Intelligence, FMFM 3-27, discusses the use of UAVs in the aviation collection effort but discusses neither the MEF collection process nor UAV communication networks. Doctrine for UAV Company Operations discusses how the company plans, coordinates and executes its missions. Overall, the doctrine concerning UAVs allows for a large degree of flexibility. A review of the


doctrinal literature suggests changing UAV management does not require major changes in any publications or major changes in the conduct of UAV missions.

Comparison. Alternative one and three have the advantage of keeping the current doctrine in place. The current doctrine has been combat proven and has been continually revised since the Mastiff RPV. Alternative two requires incorporating several small changes in several publications. Most of these changes are minor and pertain to the location of the UAV company. Current Marine doctrine professes the MEF as the warfighter and all the assets in the MEF belong to one commander. None of the alternatives had advantages or disadvantages over one another. Table Ten compares the weighted results for this criteria.

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Comparing the Evaluation

After completing the MFEP, the individual criteria's weighted results are

summarized in Table Eleven. Although the advantages or disadvantages of each criteria were usually slight, the combined total placed alternative two at a considerable advantage. Table Eleven shows the combined results of the analysis.


Image

Section 4: Conclusion

From the results of the analysis, the decision made by the Executive Steering Group (ESG) appears to be a sound one. Time and experience will be the only true determinant of whether the decision and the analysis were correct. After ten years of operational use, the UAV companies are still refining their doctrine, standing operating procedures, and techniques. Aviation will certainly not develop new and better techniques overnight. A thorough review of their operations, revealed nothing technically wrong with how the SRIG employed the UAV company. The companies were treated just like every other SRIG asset; they were independent and self-supporting. However, this autonomy came with a high price. The UAV company's table of equipment had uncontrolled growth because they did not have the support they felt was necessary to function. The communications and maintenance sections and their ensuing strategic lift requirements became overbearing. Trained personnel were moved by HQMC with no regard to the cost of recently acquired training. The ESG had the responsibility to pick an

alternative that provided a more efficient method of sustaining the UAV systems.

Aviation will have a great deal of scrutiny placed on it, and they are in the lime light to improve Pioneer UAV and prepare for the Short Range UAV. However, there are many things aviation is unlikely to do. They will not be providing an immediate improvement in their mission capability because of the absense of a better parts repair system. Aviation, like the SRIG, will be constrained by the amount of money Congress allows DoD to spend on the Pioneer UAV. This constraint has been the major drawback


in mission capability and it has been that way for years. Aviation will also not make routine deployments any easier, the systems will require more coordination and greater lead times than the Pioneer UAV companies previously required. Aviation will probably not improve airspace coordination. Airspace coordination has not been a major problem in the past, and operating the UAV or controlling its airspace will require continued close coordination. There are many things Aviation will bring to the UAVs program. It will provide the experience of managing a training and safety program that emulates manned aviation and provide a slight improvement in communications with a less lift.

Moving the management to Aviation and leaving the operational control to the SRIG needed to be examined and proved to be only marginally better than leaving the UAV companies in the SRIG. The strategic lift was marginally reduced because the maintenance was moved to aviation, but the system required carrying spare parts. Unfortunately, there are no extra parts to store. Additionally, moving the maintenance people in the combat rear area and keeping the UAV company on the front line did not make a lot of tactical sense. Many of the maintenance people could be used for security if they were located with the UAV company.

There are many risks in the decision made by the ESG. The first risk concerns force structure. Force structure is the amount of people required to perform the units mission. If force structure is moved from one sponsor to another, it usually requires intervention as high as the ESG to move it again. Aviation does not know how many people are really required to operate a UAV company under their system, and if they act too quickly, they may jeopardize their newly acquired program. This leads to the next


risk. The DoD has yet to frilly field a tactical UAV. Pioneer UAV is theoretically being phased out, but Short Range UAV has major developmental problems. There is a great possibility that Aviation may be blamed for canceling another tactical reconnaissance program when it was beyond their control.


Section Five: Recommendation

It is my recommendation that the Marine Corps maintain all UAV management

under the administration and control of the Department of Aviation. The first task of Aviation should be to stabilize the mission capability of the Pioneer UAV companies. It is of paramount importance that a manpower assessment be made to determine the correct MOSs that are required by the system. Aviation needs to become deeply involved with the planned acquisition of the Short Range UAV. Aviation also needs to determine how the Marine Corps will pay for the UAV systems in the future. The diminishing operations and maintenance budget may grossly affect how we conduct our UAV training and sustainment.

There are other areas that require further research. Aviation needs to determine if manned aviation is still a viable discipline for tactical aerial imagery reconnaissance. The concept of flying a manned aircraft over a target area does not seem tactically sound. Aviation should also investigate whether a UAV as large as the Pioneer or the Short Range is really the optimum capability provider. Perhaps a very small, expendable UAV and a large, long endurance UAV is what the Marine Corps really needs.

We should continue to investigate the training program for UAVs. Currently all initial UAV training is performed at the DUTC. Perhaps a better method would be to emulate the Weapons and Tactics Instructor program. In this program, only the instructors go to the school. New students are taught by squadron instructors while performing routine training. This concept could save travel money and open a great opportunity to train new operators at the discretion of the commander.


We should also investigate the possibility of sharing our concepts of operations with the Navy. The Navy and Marine Corps are professing littoral warfare and a doctrine of "Forward...from the Sea." However, neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps have thoroughly studied the requirements of operating from the sea and phasing ashore. UAVs are here to stay, so we may as well implement the program in an efficient and effective manner.


Notes

1 Rolling With the Second Marine Division," US Naval Institute Proceedings, 22

November 199l, 80.

2 Mishap (aircraft accidents) rates are calculated by the Naval Safety Center as the number of "Alpha class" mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. An "Alpha class" mishap is defined as a total loss of an aircraft or aircraft damage that exceeds $l million. A "Bravo class" mishap is defined as damage ranging from $200,000 to $1 million. The mishap rate for Naval Aviation varies from year to year; however the range is usually between 2.5 to 4.5. As of 26 January l995, the flight hours for all Pioneer air vehicles, to include the Army, Navy and Marine Corps totaled less than 11,000 hours with 53 air vehicles destroyed. This would put the mishap rate at approximately 480. The Marine Corps had 18 air vehicles that sustained Alpha class damage and another 18 air vehicles that sustained Bravo class mishaps in the first six years of flying. The Marine Corps has

acquired less than 5000 Pioneer air vehicle flight hours to date.

3 Paul Heinold, Assistant Program Manager for Marine Corps UAVs, interview

with author, 15 February 1995.

4 Brendan M. Greeley, Jr., "Operational Requirements Drive Procurement of

RPVs," Aviation Week and Space Technology, 28 April 1986, 42.

5 Pat Cooper, "Hunter UAV's Future Rests On Software Fix," Defense News, 6-l2

February l995, 8.

6 Joint Chiefs of Staff Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of

Military and Associated Terms, Washington, DC, 23 March 1994.

7 Thomas J. Gleason, Datalink Tradeoffs for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (U),

Gleason Research Associates, Incorporated, GRA Report l28, June l988, 22.

8 United States Marine Corps. Annual Report of the Commandant of the Marine to

the Secretary of the Navy for Fiscal Year l954. Enclosure (l) page II-7.

9 L.R. Fuchs, Major, USMC,. "Unmanned Aircraft," Marine Corps Gazette,

October l98l, 6l-66.

10 Fuchs, 62.

11 Fuchs, 62.


l2 L.P. Charon, Major, USMC, "Front Line Photo Drone Ready for Robot Recon,"

Marine Corps Gazette, Aug l966, 38.

l3 Maj H.L. Scott, "Tactical Imagery Processing," Marine Corps Gazette,

September l966, l2.

14 Fuchs, 62.

15 Jack Kestner, "DASH a Big Success in the Japanese Navy," Ledger-Star,

September 29, l971, Section B-1.

l6 Jack Kestner, "Navy dumps DASH after $250 Million Dollar Cost," Ledger-Star,

Sept 27, 197l, Section B-1.

17 Jack Kestner, Ledger-Star, 1 October 1971, Section B-1.

l8 Fialka, John J. "Simple Army Drone Grows Complicated, Expensive, and Late"

Wall Street Journal, November 23, l984, A-1.

l9 General Accounting Office Report to Congress MASAD-8l-20, 3 April l98l,

DoD's Use of Remotely Piloted Vehicle Technology Offers Opportunities For Saving

Lives And Dollars, 4.

20 GAO, "Report to Congress MASAD-81-20," 23.

2l Bruce A. Smith, "Israeli Use Bolsters Interest in Mini RPVs, Aviation Week and Space Technology, l8 July 1983, 67-71.

Major Franklin D. McKinney, USMC, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Development:

How Good Is Good Enough? MMS Paper (Quantico, Virginia: Marine Corps Command

and Staff College, 2 May 1994), 5.

Colonel Bruce Brunn, 2d Remotely Piloted Vehicle Platoon Commander, 1984-5

interview with author, 18 January 1995.

22 Brunn, interview.

23 John F. Lehman, Command of the Seas, Building the 600 Ship Navy, Charles

Scribbner's Son's, New York, l988, 328.

24 Lehman, 332.

25 Lehman, 328-9.

26 Philip J. Klass,. "Lebanon Lessons Raise Interest in RPVs," Aviation Week and

Space Technology, 20 August 1984, 44-46.


27 Dave Griffiths and Paula Dwyer, "The Navy's 'Drone' Contract: Fair Bid or Fait Accompli?" Business Week, l Aug 88, 30.

28 Brunn, interview.

29 Curt Perry, Major, USMC, Maintenance Officer, Mastiff RPV, l984-l985

30 Headquarters Marine Corps POG-20 24 January l985 signed by LtGen Trainor

Deputy Chief of Plans Policies and Operations and Vice Admiral Lyons, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans, Policies, and Operations)

31 Headquarters Marine Corps Route Sheet POG-22 dated l5 Apr 85.

32 "AAI Corp. Receives Contract for Three Navy RPV Systems," Aviation Week and

Space Technology, l3 Jan l986, 28.

33 Mark Rayfield, Major, USMC, Operations Officer and later Executive Officer

1 st RPV Company l987, interview with author, l7 February l995.

34 Brunn, interview. This is Col Brunn's opinion about how NAVAIR worked.

35 The term "one system" is meant to imply that is all they have. In fact, DUTC has less than one complete UAV system. Because so many air vehicles were crashed in the beginning of the program and Congress terminated the Program's ability to replace them, all Pioneer RPV systems have less than the planned eight air vehicles per system.

36 John Beadling, LtCol, USMC (Ret.), Program Manager for Pioneer RPV

NAVAIR (PMA-263D), l992-l995, interview with author, 22 February l99S.

37 In normal acquisition programs the Program Manager is usually responsible for

new equipment training. Once the system is frilly fielded, training is paid for through other sources, depending on the training and type of school.

38 Barry Render and Ralph M. Stair, Jr., Quantitative Analysis for Management, 4th edition, (Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, l99l), l98-200

39 L.P. Gerencser, Major, USMC, Ground Supply Officer, interview with author, 3

April 95. The Force Activity Designator (FAD) places priority with deployed units or units getting ready for war.


Bibliography

Armitage, Sir Michael, Air Chief Marshall KCB, CBE, RAF, Brassey's Air Power.

Aircraft, Weapons Systems and Technology Series, Volume 3, Unmanned Aircraft. London: Brassey's Defence Publishers, l988.

Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command letter to

Distribution List, 3900 WF11G, subject: "Concept of Employment (COE) for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Close Range (UAV-CR)" l2 May l992.

Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command letter to

Distribution List, 3900 WF11G, subject: "Concept of Employment (COE) for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Short Range (UAV-SR)" 10 July l 992.

Davis, Jeffrey P. and Lott, Damien X. Captains, USMC. "UAV Company: Should It Be a VMO Squadron?" Marine Corps Gazette, October l994, 36-37.

Field Manual (FM) 34-2, Collection Management, Washington, DC: Department of the

Army, 20 October 1990.

Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 3-20, Commander's Guide to Intelligence, Quantico, VA: MCCDC, 6 February l99l.

Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 3-21, MAGTF Intelligence Operations. Quantico,

VA: MCCDC, l May l99l.

Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 3-22-1, UAV Company Operations. Quantico, VA:

MCCDC, 4 November l993.

Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 3-27 Aviation Intelligence (Coordinating Draft). Quantico, VA: MCCDC,l7 July l992.

Geisenheyer, Stefan, "Current Developments in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles," Armada

International (5/l990), 76.

Henderson, F.P. BGen, "VMO Squadrons Are Airpower!" Marine Corps Gazette, May

l994.

Joint Publication 3-55.l, Joint Techniques, Tactics and Procedures for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Office of the Chairman, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC, 27 August l993.


Leygraaf, Gerard, CDR, USN, "Alone, Unarmed and Unavailable," Naval Institute

Proceedings (September 1994) 37-39

Lawrence, David, "From Floatplanes to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Iowa Gets Pioneers," Amphibious Warfare Review (Fall/Winter 1986), 76.

Munson, Kenneth, World Unmanned Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing Company,

1988.

 

Operating Handbook (OH) 2-2 Remotely Piloted Vehicle Employment. Quantico,

Virginia, United States Marine Corps. April 1987.

Patterson, Robert "The Other Side of the Hill-Reconnaissance and Surveillance on the European Battlefield." NATO Sixteen Nations, (July 1986), 62-67

Tewes, L.L. "The Israeli Air Force and the 1982 Lebanon War." U.S. Army Aviation

Digest, (Jul/Aug 1990), 60-65.

Tice, B.P. "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Force Multiplier of the 1990s." Airpower Journal, (Spring 1991), 41-55.

 

"Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: More Testing Needed Before Production of Short Range

System," General Accounting Office, Report NSIAD 92-311, 4 September 1992,

Washington, DC 20548

United States Department of Defense, Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Program Plan, Washington, DC: GPO (April 1994)

 

Wagner, William, Lightning Bugs and Other Reconnaissance Drones, Fallbrook, CA,

Armed Forces Journal International in cooperation with Aero Publishers, Inc., 1982.

Weinberger, C.W., Fighting for Peace: Seven Critical Years in the Pentagon. New

York:: Warner Books, Inc., 1991.

Weiss, George, "Remotely Piloted Aircraft," Armed Forces Journal (17 May 1971), 24.





Title Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Where Are They Going And Where Do They Belong

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Where Are They Going And Where Do They Belong?

CSC 1995

SUBJECT AREA Strategic Issues

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Title: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Where are They Going and Where Do They

Belong?

Author: Major Gary A. Warner USMC

Research Question: Where, in the Marine Corps, should functional sponsorship,

operational control, and administrative control reside for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)?

Discussion: The Marine Corps has experimented with many UAVs but it has never

developed a robust capability. UAV programs have been plagued with training,

technical, and programmatic problems. The Pioneer UAV program has not been any

better than its predecessors, in this regard. In l987, the Secretary of the Navy pushed for an accelerated procurement of Pioneer UAV, but never ensured that the logistics required to support the program were developed. Pioneer UAV demonstrated its value in Desert Storm; but since then, the system's mission capability has deteriorated. Programs that will replace Pioneer UAV will inherit similar problems unless corrections are made now.

In December l994, the Marine Corps Executive Steering Group (ESG) decided

to move all UAV concerns from the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence

Group (SRIG) to the Department of Aviation. This report analyzes the alternatives that may have been available to the ESG. The alternatives were: leave UAVs under the management of the SRIG; move UAV management to Aviation with administrative and operational control in the Aviation Combat Element (ACE); and, move management to Aviation, but leave the UAVs under the operational control of the SRIG. The analysis evaluates each alternative considering the following criteria: the feasibility in disseminating information, maintenance, manning requirements, airspace management,

strategic lift and flexibility, cost, training, and the impact of doctrinal changes.

Conclusion: In terms of maintenance, flexibility and deployability, there is more benefit to placing UAV system operations under the Department of Aviation than the other alternatives. The benefit of each criteria is marginal; however, the total sum of the benefits is largely in favor of Aviation management and control.

Recommendation: That the Marine Corps place all UAV program management under

the Department of Aviation and that the ACE assume administrative and operational control of UAV companies.


Table of Contents

Section Page

 

Section One: Introduction to the Problem

 

Introduction 1

Thesis Statement 4

Methodology and Scope 4

Review of the Literature 6

Section Two: Background

 

UAV Basics 8

Drones, RPVs, and UAVs 8

UAV System Components 9

Misnomers 11

Constraints 11

UAV Concepts and the Intelligence Cycle 13

Disseminating Intelligence Productsl4

Early UAV History 15

Remotely Piloted Helicopters 15

Bikini 16

DASH and Project Snoopy 17

A Renewed Interest 20

Israeli Success 20

American Failure 21

Mastiff UAV Concept Developer 22

Simple, Inexpensive, and Now 22

Developing Concepts of Operations 23


Department of the Navy UAV Management 25

Pioneer UAV 25

Training and Personnel 27

Department of Defense UAV Training Center 27

Personnel and the Revolving Door 28

Summary 29

Section Three: The Analysis

 

Methodology 30

Assumptions 32

Alternative l 33

Alternative 2 35

Alternative 36

Criteria #l: Feasibility in Disseminating UAV Products37

Discussion 37

Comparison 41

Criteria #2: Manning Requirements 37

Discussion 40

Comparison 41

Criteria #3: Maintenance 43

Discussion 43

Comparison 45

Criteria #4: Airspace Management 46

Discussion 46

Comparison 47

Criteria #5: Strategic Lift and Deployment Flexibility48

Discussion 48

Comparison 49


Criteria #6: Cost 50

Discussion 50

Comparison 51

Criteria #7: Training 53

Discussion 53

Comparison 55

Criteria #8: Doctrine Impact 56

Discussion 56

Comparison 58

Comparing the Evaluation 58

Section Four: Conclusion 60

 

Section Five: Recommendations 63

 

Endnotes 65

 

Bibliography 68


 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:

 

Where Are They Going and Where Do They Belong?

 

Section One: Introduction to the Problem

 

Introduction

 

Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) became precious assets during

Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They flew more than 900 hours supporting both the ground combat and the aviation combat elements. The systems partially filled the huge void in real-time and near real-time imagery and almost everyone became a UAV enthusiast. The lessons learned from the operation called for fielding more systems and providing more ways to receive Pioneer's real-time information.1 One would think the praise and admiration of the UAV's combat achievements would be enough to raise the interest of how well they were managed.

There are many other circumstances that should raise the Marine Corps' interest in Pioneer UAV. Besides hand held cameras, they are the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Commander's only remaining tactical aerial reconnaissance asset. The Marine Corps deactivated its only RF-4 squadron in 1990, and deactivated its last OV-10 squadron in 1994. The setbacks and cost overruns of the Advanced Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance System have placed the F/A-18D reconnaissance capability years behind schedule and lead to the cancellation of the Medium Range UAV. The Short Range
UAV, Pioneer UAV's larger replacement, is also behind schedule and shows limited

promise of success. The Close Range UAV, whose development relies on Short Range

UAV development, will not be fielded before 1998.

Despite its importance, the Pioneer UAV's ability to support the Marine

Air-Ground Task Force has steadily declined. The system was supposed to provide an interim capability and be replaced in the early part of this decade. Consequently, the program had neither a complete logistics support analysis nor adequate funds for full contract support. The readiness has been affected because of shortfalls in spare parts, replacement air vehicles, and training. The Marine Corps' Pioneer UAV systems have an operational readiness that is less than one-quarter of the Chief of Naval Operations readiness goal and their mishap rates are over 100 times higher than manned aircraft.2 The correct mix of Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) has never been resolved, and the UAV company's table of organization is facing its third rewrite in five years. And

finally, the strategic lift requirement has increased to five C-5 aircraft for each Pioneer UAV company.

The Pioneer UAV Program was placed in a management dilemma from its

inception. The Marine Corps considered UAVs ground based and placed them in the

artillery regiment, then the division, and later in the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group (SRIG). Although Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) normally manages ground equipment, its UAV Project Office only managed the Very Low Cost UAV Program and the Short Range UAV Program.3 Pioneer UAV Program Management Office resided in Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR). As a


result, Pioneer RPVs fell in a gap where no one in the Marine Corps was overwatching the Program's management.

On December 21, 1994, the Marine Corps's Executive Steering Group (ESG)

tasked the Department of Aviation (referred to as "Aviation") with the management of UAVs. The proposal to move UAV management was quite controversial. For years, proponents who wanted to keep UAVs with the SRIG believed if UAVs were in Aviation, "real-time" intelligence would go to the Direct Air Support Center (DASC) or the Tactical Air Command Center and never be seen by the ground units.4 These proponents also raised concerns that the few Pioneer UAV systems we now have will quickly follow in the footsteps of the RF-4 and the OV-10. Those two platforms provided valuable intelligence products; however, they were deactivated because they were obsolete, expensive, and labor intensive. Aviation will realize little, if any, gain from taking over UAV management. With Pioneer UAV, Aviation will have responsibility for a program that has a very limited training pipeline, no logistics support analysis, and Congressional scrutiny over costs for improvements. With Short Range UAV, Aviation will inherit a system that has a notorious history of catastrophic failures from software, reliability problems, and a multi-million dollar funding shortage for UAV

operations and maintenance.5

UAVs are more than unmanned air vehicles, they are systems. The systems are complex, expensive, and not simple to operate. Our history is filled with failed UAV programs, each with a set of challenges that were not overcome and are being repeated in new attempts to fully field systems today. After making a simple observation of our
experiences with recent UAV programs, it is obvious that Short Range UAV management

and employment methods will follow in the footsteps of the Pioneer UAV. Therefore, the Marine Corps has an obligation to itself to remedy its UAV problems before it goes any further with them. What alternatives did the ESG really have? This paper discusses the very basics of UAVs, the Marine Corps experiences with them, and three potential alternatives to meeting the challenges of Pioneer UAV and its successors.

Thesis Statement

Where, in the Marine Corps, should functional sponsorship, operational control, and administrative control reside for UAVs?

Methodology and Scope

This paper starts with the background of the problems the Marine Corps has had with the Pioneer UAV and its predecessors. The paper then compares three alternatives to determine if aviation management or ground management best supports the operations and maintenance of UAVs. The first alternative leaves the current and future UAV systems with the SRIG and incorporates changes to optimize the company's performance. The second alternative moves the entire UAV program to Aviation and treats UAVs as manned aircraft. The third alternative moves UAV management to Aviation but leaves the system under the operational control of the SRIG. These alternatives will be described in detail and compared against eight criteria in the analysis section of this paper. The criteria for the analysis is based on: the feasibility of disseminating UAV


products, manning requirements, maintenance, airspace management, cost, strategic lift and deployment flexibility, training, and impact on doctrine. The choice of criteria was based on interviews and extracts from recent briefs concerning UAV management. The scope of the paper focuses primarily on the Pioneer UAV, and its two follow-on systems, the Short Range UAV and the Close Range UAV. For simplicity, the paper limits the UAV mission to collecting aerial imagery.

The information for this paper comes from a variety of sources. The design of the alternatives, prediction of their impacts, and the comparison of alternatives comes from my personal experiences as the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) UAV Requirements Officer, the UAV Occupational Field Sponsor, a Weapons and Tactics Instructor, and an Aviation Safety Officer. As the UAV Requirements Officer, I visited operational UAV companies in the Fleet Marine Force, participated in refining UAV requirements with the Joint Staff, and witnessed the initial operational assessment of the Short Range UAV. My research started with a review of the "Marine Corps Lessons Learned System" followed by a search of all literature written under the subject of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones, Remotely Piloted Vehicles, and Aerial Reconnaissance. This was followed by interviews with UAV operators, Direct Air Support Center Officers, communications officers, supply officers, program managers,

MCCDC structure and training personnel, defense analysts, and previous research writers.


Review of the Literature

 

There are many articles addressing UAVs; however, there are only four articles that address how and where the systems should be maintained. Chronologically, the first was a military issues paper written in l985. The article discusses, in three short paragraphs, the potential organizational location for UAVs: the Marine Air Support Squadron of the Marine Air Wing (MAW), the Target Acquisition Battery (TAB) of the artillery regiment, and the headquarters battalion of the division. The next two articles were published by Naval Institute Proceedings in a 22 November 1991 supplement. These articles were published interviews with Major General Royal Moore and Major General J. I. Hopkins. The Generals were specifically asked, "The RPVs are, of course, division assets. Do you think that is the best place for them?" Major General Moore's response was,

"They really became more Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) assets than

division, because we had two divisions. But they were too much oriented toward the ground. We found that we had to share the information, and depending on the flow of the battlefield, it may be 80 percent in support of the air and 20 percent in support of the ground, and then as the ground starts to go, it may be 90 percent in support of the ground..."

 

Major General Hopkins response to the same question was,

"No. That was a turf battle at first. They should either be owned by the division, and used by the surveillance, reconnaissance guys; and the artillery-or the assets should be pooled under the MEF. We've got to resolve that."

 

The fourth article, published by the Marine Corps Gazette, was written by the Executive Officer and Operations Officer of 1st UAV Company. The article implies that since UAVs perform missions similar to the OV-10, the UAV companies should be considered


aviation observation squadrons. The article addresses several advantages to moving the UAVs to Aviation, but only addresses a few key points. Almost all other Marine Corps Gazette articles concern either the importance of the Marine Corps' involvement with UAVs or the importance of maintaining a tactical aerial reconnaissance capability. Literature from almost all other sources relates to the value that UAVs add to battle management or concerns UAV programmatic information.


Section Two: Background

 

UAV Basics

 

Drones, RPVs and UAVs. This paper discusses several types of unmanned aerial vehicles: drones, remotely piloted vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and remotely piloted helicopters. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Publication l-02 defines a drone as "a land, sea, or air vehicle that is remotely or utomatically controlled." A Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) is an "unmanned vehicle capable of being controlled from a distant location through a communication link." The two terms are very similar, and for the purposes of this paper can be considered the same thing. The JCS definitions do not imply that a drone or an RPV is an airborne craft; it may be a ground or submarine vehicle. The JCS publication defines a UAV as:

.a powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses

aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry lethal or nonlethal payloads. Ballistic or semiballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles.6

UAVs are the airborne subset of RPVs. When they were in their infancy, almost all UAVs were called drones. However, UAVs have been political "hot potatoes" for decades, and no one in the Department of Defense (DoD) wants Congressional language that confuses UAV issues with other things flying through the air. Therefore, the definitions became more specific over time to avoid confusing UAVs with ballistic projectiles, cruise missiles, guided missiles, tactical air launch decoys, or other robotic systems. Technically, the Pioneer RPV program was misnamed and should have been


called a UAV. The term predominantly used throughout this paper is UAV vice RPV, to minimize confusing the reader. This paper also uses the acronym "UAV" refer to the entire system or program. The terms used to describe the actual flying machine are referred to as the drone or the air vehicle.

UAV System Components. Although each type of UAV system has variances in

design, it must have several basic subcomponents. They are: the unmanned aerial

vehicle, the payload, a ground control station (GCS), the ground data terminal (GDT) (an antenna to receive and transmit the data between the UAV and its ground station), a UAV on-board transceiver, and Ground Support Equipment (GSE). In response to the lessons learned from almost all UAV programs, a seventh element, a remote receiving station, also known as a remote video terminal (RVT), is included or planned for in most systems. Remote video terminals enable the supported unit to directly receive imagery from the air vehicle.

GSE consists of High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs),

five-ton trucks, trailers, generators, radios, launch and recover equipment, and

maintenance equipment. Unlike manned aircraft, a failure in any one of these

subcomponents, external to the airborne platform, will either cause the UAV system to be non-mission capable or cause an in-flight emergency. When considering strategic lift, the GSE consumes the majority of the weight and cubic dimensions of the UAV company. Figure One, on the following page, depicts the Short Range UAV which is scheduled to replace Pioneer UAV.


Image

Misnomers. UAV jargon often uses terms in a different context than that of

manned aviation. Operational availability is one of these terms. In manned aircraft, operational availability, also known as mission capability, means the average number of aircraft capable of flying at any given moment. Because an aircraft squadron has many aircraft, it can almost always perform its mission with an aircraft mission capability rate of 85 percent. A UAV system may have just as many air vehicles available as the manned aircraft squadron, but may not be mission capable because it does not have mission capable GSE. An operational availability of 85 percent in a UAV company would mean that the company could not perform its mission, whatsoever, 15 percent of the time.

The next misnomer is the term "real-time" information. Warfighters consider real-time information as information received in time to target moving objects. However, engineers consider all information "near real-time" because of electronic processing delays. Although delays may only be a few milliseconds, the systems are technically near real-time. The term near real-time often misleads imagery recipients because the amount of time that actually elapses during near real-time collection remains undefined and varies with different programs.

Constraints. UAVs have several major constraints that limit their operational flexibility. The two constraints that affect Marine Corps operations are the datalinks and the methods of launching and recovering the air vehicle. The datalink is the medium through which the operator controls the UAV and receives its imagery. UAVs require a


large exchange of data between the operator and the air vehicle. To perform the data exchange, in the time required, most UAV systems require the uplink and downlink to be on separate frequencies. Missions that require the datalink to be relayed require a minimum of four frequencies. Unfortunately, our tactical UAVs share the same frequencies that other Super High Frequency (SHF) systems use. The combined frequency requirements, and the amount of frequencies available, limits the number of air vehicles that can fly in a given region. Most of the Pioneer UAV crashes in Operation Desert storm were due to interference with the datalink frequency. The next datalink constraint pertains to the GDTs, which transmit and receive the data. The GDT can only control one UAV at a time; this also limits the number of air vehicles that can be airborne. And finally, datalinks require radio line of sight, and because of the curvature

of the earth and terrain features, the air vehicle must constantly increase in altitude, as it extends down range, to maintain the datalink. As the system increases in altitude, the imagery usually degrades. To overcome this, some extended range systems use relays through satellites or other UAVs. The Short Range UAV uses a second airborne air vehicle for relay, which compounds the frequency allocation problems discussed earlier.

The second operational constraint is how the UAV system is designed to launch and recover the air vehicle. The Pioneer air vehicle and almost all other UAVs currently under government contract are fixed-wing air vehicles. These air vehicles require firm runways, and they require an operator skilled in launching and landing the air vehicle. This limits the choice of operators and limits the places from which the UAV mission can originate. The air vehicle launch and recovery period presents the greatest risk


potential of non-combat loss. There are several technological remedies for improving launch and recovery operations; however, the problem will remain for the foreseeable future.

UAV Concepts and the Intelligence Cycle. The intelligence cycle is a five

phase process of: directing the collection effort, collecting the information, processing the information into intelligence, producing a tangible product for the user, and then disseminating the intelligence to the user. An expeditious link from the target locator to the weapons shooter is one of the hardest requirements to fulfill in any collection system. This is because the intelligence cycle takes time, and the target may have moved by the

time weapons are brought on to the target. Even when collection reporting is

instantaneous, processing and disseminating the information may take too much time. The concept of using UAVs offers some solutions to shortening the cycle's time. The UAVs cut processing and production out of the cycle by collecting information and directly disseminating responsive, real time information to the user. Figure Two compares the doctrinal intelligence cycle to the same cycle with UAVs added.

Image 2


Disseminataing Intelligence Products. UAVs collect information for four basic categories: intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), early warning and indications, targeting, and battle damage assessment. Seeing imagery of the battlespace, particularly the objective area, greatly enhances the IPB process. In many planning stages, this information's immediacy is not critical and near real-time or delayed dissemination will suffice. In the remaining three categories, the ground commander may need immediate information about the events that are taking place. He may need to know the enemy is at a named area of interest or at a decision point. However, this type of information does not require imagery; it requires a simple voice or text message.

There is a phenomenal difference in communication requirements between

transmitting text messages and transmitting imagery. To illustrate the difference, compare one page of text and one computer monitor's screen of imagery. One full page of text (500 words) in Ami Pro takes approximately 8 kilobytes of information. An image on a computer monitor can easily take up to 307 kilobytes. This is calculated by multiplying the 640x480 lines that make up the pixels. Regardless of the dissemination medium, we can deduce that imagery requires a 35 fold increase to transmit imagery over the same communications medium.7 Since we must work with constrained frequency allocations and limited time, dissemination requires an efficient process that identifies what needs to be sent, to whom it should be sent, and to where it should be sent.

From an analysis of the initial requirements, the Marine Corps planned to meet its dissemination challenges by procuring enough UAV systems that almost every organization above the company level would get direct UAV support. This nullified the


dissemination process, as shown earlier in Figure Two. However, this plan proved to be imprudent in procurement, manpower, and operational costs, and it had the potential to create airspace mayhem. The Marine Corps is still refining its imagery requirements in terms of what needs to be disseminated and in what quality and quantity. The Marine Corps is also refining its UAV requirements after four decades of concept development.

Early UAV History

Remotely Piloted Helicopters. As the Marine Corps became aware of the utility of the helicopter, it was concerned about the missions, work load and manpower required to equip the Fleet Marine Force with enough helicopters to meet all of its requirements. A concept paper was published in April 1954 "A Study of Marine Corps Requirements for the Remotely Controlled Rotary Wing Aircraft." The report discussed several concepts using Remotely Piloted Helicopters (RPHs) instead of manned helicopters. It suggested that RPHs had three advantages: they would reduce the tasking of helicopter crews; the crews would be kept out of harm's way; and the drones were more cost effective.9 One year later, prototypes from the Kaman Corporation were evaluated by Experimental Helicopter Squadron One and the Landing Force Development Center. Anticipating success, the Marine Corps' Aviation Plan programmed three RPH squadrons to activate starting in fiscal year 1959.10 The plan was based on an understanding that RPHs would not count against the Marine Corps operating aircraft inventory. The squadrons never materialized because the evaluation demonstrated no


advantage over a manned helicopter. The demonstration showed that RPH systems were more expensive, less reliable, and more difficult to operate than initially anticipated.11

Bikini. Experience with the second drone was under the code name Bikini.

While the RPH concept was predominately evaluated for the feasibility of a utility vehicle, the Bikini concept was evaluated for the feasibility of providing organic near real-time reconnaissance to the battalion commander. The Bikini program started in 1959 and, after seven years of research and development, appeared to have great potential. The system would require a team of two Marines, one operator and one technician. The drone teams would be attached to the infantry battalions and perform reconnaissance missions.12

The entire drone system would be carried in one jeep and one trailer, with the trailer doubling as a launcher and cargo carrier. The pneumatic launcher would be recharged by the battalion's flame thrower compressor. The air vehicle would be recovered by the operator flying the drone overhead, cutting the engine, and activating the parachute release. The program planned for the air vehicle to carry a 70mm camera whose film was to be developed by either the division reconnaissance battalion or by the team using a newly developed waterless film processor.13 The basic Bikini drone concept is extremely similar to the standing Marine Corps Concept of Employment for the Close Range UAV published by MCCDC, 26 years later.

The Marine Corps obtained twenty drones, and had Headquarters and Service

Company of Second Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Lejeune participate in the test. Within the year, and over 300 flights later, only 6 of the 20 air vehicles remained. Eleven


of the l4 losses were due to operator error, and a majority of controlling errors were on landing and takeoff. By the end of the developmental test, Bikini demonstrated the potential of UAVs, but the system was not considered suitable.14

DASH and Project Snoopy. Between 1969 and 1972, the Defense Advanced

Research Project Agency developed some advanced applications of an RPH called the QH-50, Drone, Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH.) The DASH, which could carry up to 1000 pounds of payload, was bought with the primary purpose of extending the range of the Navy's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability a safe distance from the ship. However, after some practical experience with the DASH, new concepts were developed. The first advanced application was Project Snoopy, which equipped the drone with television cameras for beach reconnaissance and naval gunfire spotting along the coast of Vietnam. Project enhancements eventually included payload packages with low light level television, lasers for range finding, and armaments of either .50 caliber guns, Gatling guns, or hypervelocity guns. From my research, it appears the Marines became

involved in a DASH adventure called Operation Nite Panther. During this operation, Marines who were ashore were equipped with a jeep configured as a GCS. They would take control of a ship-launched drone and execute clandestine reconnaissance and targeting missions. Upon completing the mission, they would hand control of the drone back to the shipboard operators for recovery. The missions in Southeast Asia attributed to 58 DASH losses, but it could not be determined whether the losses were due to enemy action or malfunction/pilot error. Figure Three shows a variant of the QH-50.


IMAGE #3

Although the DASH program was predominantly a Navy program, there were lessons

about the program that should be mentioned. Of the 750 drones built, 411 crashed within a ten year period. drone's attrition rate perturbed defense officials which lead to the program's cancellation. Then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, in his budget presentation to Congress said, "The DASH ASW Drone helicopter was encountering higher than expected peacetime attrition and lower than expected performance."16 In a similar vein, the GAO stated that the drone had problems because it went into production before the system was adequately developed and tested. DASH attrition was attributed to poor management. The system was exposed to corrosion problems, high crew turnover, improper maintenance procedures, and the crew lacked flight proficiency because of long

periods without training. The Japanese, flying identical systems, achieved l440 flight hours with only 4 losses which was four times better than the American average. The Japanese maintained a daily training program, teamed crews together for several years, and followed the prescribed maintenance procedures. Although McNamara cut the DASH program out of the budget because of cost and attrition, the Navy claimed it replaced the DASH with the SH-2D helicopter because it felt the evolving missions were too critical to rely on a drone.17 Had more emphasis been placed on the DASH, throughout the program's development, it may have overcome its design defects and management problems. However, the program was built under a false sense of urgency, and no one realized how much money and effort would be required to make the system work well.


Renewed Interest In UAVs

By the mid 1970s and early 1980s, the Services were revitalizing their interest in UAVs. The Marine Corps outlined UAV requirements in the l975 Mid-range Plan, and the Army flew its first Aquila UAV prototype in 1976.18 However, Congress believed that the Services were not making headway fast enough. The 1978 House Armed Services Committee reported that:

"The committee has strongly supported the development of remotely piloted

vehicles. However, the significant investment in development and the lack of success in deploying new vehicles have highlighted the Department of Defense's inefficient management in this area."19

 

At about the same time, the GAO was pressuring the military to invest in UAVs because they believed UAVs could be more cost effective than manned aircraft. In 1981, the GAO submitted a report to Congress titled "DoD's Use Of Remotely Piloted Vehicle Technology Offers Opportunities For Saving Lives And Dollars." The report claims that the Services were reluctant to field UAVs because pilots feared a lack of job security. The report goes on to explain that pilots felt that if drones replaced many of them, a pilot's chances for promotion would be less. The report concluded with the GAO recommending:

"the Congress should scrutinize proposed manned aircraft developments to assure that DoD gives adequate consideration to the use of remotely piloted vehicle technology for some missions."20

Israeli Success. Before anyone in the United States fielded a tactical UAV

system, the Israelis had great success with them during Operation Peace for Galilee. The


Israeli Defense Force used the Mastiff UAV and the Israeli Air Force used both the Scout UAV and high speed drone decoys.21 Israelis' overall success caught the attention of the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. In his behalf, an envoy was sent to Israel to examine the Israeli's tactics and weapons. Among the many findings, the Americans discovered that the Israelis had used UAVs for decoying, jamming, and targeting.22

American Failure. The catalyst for getting the Navy and Marine Corps actively involved with UAVs was the peace keeping operation in Beirut, Lebanon. In support of the operation, Sixth Fleet regularly sent F-l4s into the Shouf Mountains for routine photo reconnaissance missions. Each mission required many aircraft for the supporting missions of: aerial refueling, airborne radar control, combat air patrol, and search and rescue.23 The reconnaissance planes routinely took anti-aircraft gunfire, but the Navy never executed retaliatory strikes. Then, on 3 December 1983, a shoulder launched missile was fired at one of the F-l4s. The following morning the USS Independence and the USS Kennedy launched sequential strikes on targets in the Shouf Mountains. The mission planning and execution were less than noteworthy, and the results made

international news. The USS Independence lost one A-7 and another was damaged, but recovered. The USS Kennedy lost an A-6B, its pilot, and had its bombardier navigator taken prisoner.24 After the calamity, Lehman visited the fleet for his own inquiry. Lehman believed the fleet was performing missions to provide information that could be obtained by other means.25


The Mastiff UAV Concept Developer

 

Simple, Inexpensive, and Now. Working to resolve the Sixth Fleet

Commander's reconnaissance problems, Lehman became the principal driver behind the acquisition of the initial Israeli UAV.26 claimed the Israeli system would not only fulfill an urgent need, it would help refine the UAV concepts and requirements of the Navy and Marine Corps. He believed the Israeli concept was simple and affordable and had less "gold plating" than other programs. Lehman decided the UAV program would be executed as a rapid development capability and Air Program Code 202 (later to become PMA-263) was established. Although his actions were controversial, they were consistent with his philosophy that the Washington bureaucracy was too slow to answer any immediate needs.

Lehman helped establish a bilateral agreement with the Israeli government

concerning UAVs. For the price of approximately $7.5 million,27 Israelis would teach the Marines how to operate and maintain a Mastiff UAV system, and when the training was completed, the Marines would take one system back to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The reason the Marine Corps' 2d Division was selected is subject to opinion. Some believe it was based solely on a personal relationship between Lehman and the Division Commander, Major General Alfred Gray.28 Others believe the main reason was that certain staff officers in the Department of Aviation declined any interest in the program. Regardless, it went to the 2d Division and the 10th Marine Artillery Regiment had the vehicles, radios, and time to support UAV operations.


Developing Concepts of Operations. Developing the concept of operations for Marine Corps UAVs kept the participants busy. On 27 January l984, the l0th Marines Artillery Regiment, Target Acquisition Battery, Detachment A deployed for "Operation Thumbs Up." The mission was classified because the Israelis were using the system primarily for real-time targeting, and the United States was sensitive to the international politics that immediately followed Operation Peace for Galilee. Detachment A returned to Camp Lejeune and actively exercised their new Mastiff UAV. On 22 August, the Mastiff UAV detachment was transferred to Headquarters Battalion, Second Marine Division and was designated 1st RPV Platoon. The system was under the operational control of Commander and Chief Atlantic Fleet and participated in several fleet exercises, a Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course at Yuma, Arizona, a combined arms exercise at

Twenty-nine Palms, experimental payload flights from Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, and flew to and from an LPH Class ship.

The Mastiff UAV system held up well considering the circumstances. The

Mastiff Platoon had a combination of helicopter mechanics, artillerymen, and officers that made the system work. One of the maintenance officers had an electrical engineering degree and could trouble shoot avionics. The artillerymen surveyed the site for geo-location accuracy, and the DASC Officer acting as the Assistant Operations Officer would coordinate airspace. The external pilot, the operator who launches and recovers the UAV, was a renown remote control model airplane enthusiast. The few manuals the Marines did receive were in Hebrew, and the manuals they could decipher were often found to be technically incorrect. A shortcoming in the table of equipment forced the


platoon to borrow trucks and radios since they were now removed from the target

acquisition battery.

With some experience, refining the concept development and requirements was well under way. The Marine Corps approved a "backfilled" the "Requirement of

Capabilities Document for the Ground Launched Short Range Remotely Piloted Vehicle" in November 1984, and Headquarters staffed a concept of operations draft by the following summer. Since the Mastiff UAV was almost instantly fielded, the concepts for the system were based on the operators' aspect vice one of sustainment. The concept of logistics was heavily based on contractor support. Since it was a concept developer, there was no reason to think about the system's long term support.

The initial concepts for employment were very simple, and they are virtually the same concepts for the Pioneer UAV and the Short Range UAV. For operations, the system had two controllers: an external pilot and an internal pilot. The external pilot used a portable control station to preflight, launch and recover the air vehicle at an airstrip. The internal pilot, so named because he flew the air vehicle from inside the GCS, would take over control once it was safely airborne. The GCS was located close to DASC and was in direct contact with the fire support coordination center. The internal pilot conducted preplanned missions and reconnoitered targets of opportunity. Alongside

the internal pilot, a photo interpreter would manipulate the payload (a video camera) to determine whether targets were viable or not. Upon mission completion, the internal pilot would electronically "hand-off' the UAV back to the external pilot using the portable control station at the airstrip.29 All maintenance, with the exception of the GCS,


would be performed at the airstrip. The only flaw in the plan was that it lacked an alternative when the portable control station did not work.

Department of the Navy UAV Management

 

To support the program, the Navy and Marine Corps developed a Memorandum

of Agreement (MOA) concerning the development and procurement of Unmanned Air

Vehicles. The MOA, signed in l 98S, is still in effect and outlines the management, test, operations and fiscal aspects of UAVs. The MOA states that the Navy would manage the Navy/Marine Corps UAV Program at Headquarters Naval Air Systems Command. The MOA specifically states:

. for the Miniature Remotely Controlled Vehicle funds would be furnished to the Navy/Marine Corps UAV Program Office as the Marine Corps share of the system's development and testing costs. Training, procurement, and operating costs will be programmed for by the Executive Service.30

 

The Navy is considered the Executive Service in the MOA. The agreement further states that follow-on systems would fall under the fiscal guidance of the Marine Corps.

Pioneer UAV

The Mastiff UAV acquitted itself well enough to pursue more UAVs. Lehman

wanted to quickly field a UAV system and avoid the errors of the Army's Aquila UAV. Aquila had been under development for ten years, had a $2.4 billion cost, and was under great scrutiny by the GAO. Skyeye UAV, also under development by the Army, was being used in Central America, but it was large and designed for heavier payloads. Navy


and Marine Corps sentiments about Army UAV development were so negative that in

April 1985, the Commandant directed that the Marine Corps would not make any move toward an Army system without consulting him first.31 So Lehman had the Navy pursue an "off-the-shelf' UAV system with a contract specification extremely close to the capabilities to of the Pioneer UAV system, which was Mastiff UAV derivative. To expedite the program, the Navy's contract proposal required a competitive "fly off' for the best system 75 days after it released the invitation for bids.

Only two companies put bids in for the Navy contract: Pacific Aerosystems,

which made the Heron 26; and Mazlat, which made the Pioneer UAV. Like the Mastiff, there was no stated requirement for a nighttime imaging payload. This overqualified and overpriced Developmental Sciences Corporation's Skyeye R4E-40 and Lockheed's Aquila UAV Programs. When Pacific Aerosystems was not ready on the fly-day, Mazlat won the competition by default. The Navy awarded a contract for three systems in 1986, two in l987, and four in l988. Each system would have eight UAVs, two portable ground control stations, two remote receiving stations, and system specific support equipment.32 Lehman did not want to have the UAV system's procurement held back with "typical Washington bureaucracy," so he also called the Pioneer UAV the "Interim" Short Range UAV to get around the acquisition regulations.

In September l986, the 2d Marine Division received its Pioneer UAV system.

The UAV Platoon was renamed Second UAV Company, and it warehoused the Mastiff

UAV that November. In January and June l987, 1st and 3d UAV Companies,

respectively, were activated at Twenty-nine Palms, California. The Pioneer system was so new that the Israelis taught the course concurrently to the American instructors and the Marines.33 April l987, the Marine Corps Development and Education Command published the Operational Handbook (OH 2-2) for Remotely Piloted Vehicles which was derived from the "Concept of Operations for Remotely Piloted Vehicles."

The Pioneer UAV program had a rough start and never got much better. One

opinion speculated that some in NAVAIR resented the UAV system being pushed on

them. A successful program without a logistics support analysis (LSA) had the potential to disrupt the entire acquisition process.34 Other reasons for Pioneer's problems can be attributed to Lehman planning on having the Pioneer for three or four years at the most. In that case, a full LSA would not have been warranted and full contractor support would have been more cost effective. Consequently, the Pioneer UAV program never had its logistics support analysis (LSA) completed, its spares were not fully funded, and the system's availability suffered. However, the Marine Corps' problems were not all related

to the equipment.

Training and Personnel

 

Department of Defense UAV Training Center. The DoD UAV Training

Center, known as DUTC, is located at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. DUTC teaches Army,

Navy and Marine students five scheduled courses: external pilot, internal pilot, electronic technician, air vehicle mechanics, and payload operators. The school does not have a simulator and uses one UAV system for all hands-on training.35 In the morning, the internal pilots, external pilots, and payload operators train with an air vehicle flying. In the afternoon, the mechanics and technicians tear the system down and reassemble it. The school seats in highest demand are the external pilot course, recently shortened to 19 weeks, and the internal pilot course, which lasts eight weeks. The equipment limits students to two per course and throughput is relatively inflexible. The external pilot course requires prior remote control model airplane experience. Units recruit through "All Marine Message" traffic and Base newspapers. Since there are no MOSs for remote control model airplane flying, it was impossible to select the correct primary MOS for assignments. Prerequisites for the other courses are related to a variety of MOSs and are not hard to structure.

Personnel and the Revolving Door. There were several circumstances that affected Pioneer training readiness. In many situations, Marines that went to the UAV companies already had two years at their duty station and were subject to rotating to a new duty station at anytime. Since there was neither a school code, nor an MOS for UAV trained personnel, HQMC Manpower had no method of tracking or locating experienced candidates. Because of the limited time left on station, Marines often got trained and then left the company within the year.36 These inefficiencies wasted travel dollars and often cut the other Services, and sometimes other Marine UAV company's students, out of the available school seats. To be fair to all the Services, the Pioneer Program Manager established a student priority. First priority went to students with permanent change of

station orders to an UAV unit, second went to students with less than one year on station, and last went to students with more than one year on station.


No one besides the Program Manager and the Company Commanders realized the

training inefficiencies until l992. That September, MARCORSYSCOM "zeroed"

Pioneer UAV training funds after they determined the system should no longer be

considered new equipment.37 Concurrently MCCDC Training and Education did not

recognize DUTC as formal training and would not fund training either. Although these errors are being corrected, it will take time to achieve a fully trained UAV company.

Summary

When comparing the challenges of each UAV system, there were several similarities. Each program fell short of what was originally anticipated. The RPH was expensive and difficult to operate, the Bikini drone required aviation-like skills, the DASH continually crashed into the sea. Each UAV system had major performance tradeoffs. The RPH was agile but unreliable; the Bikini was simple but the imagery was not real-time; and the Pioneer UAV required a runway. Other systems, such as the Army Skyeye, had long endurance, but were expensive and too large for easy deployability. Almost all the systems required people with greater skill and mechanical aptitude than were available. All of the UAV programs had some degree of technical difficulty that could not be overcome before they were canceled. When costs for replacing crashed air vehicles were included, the systems were much more expensive than anticipated. And finally, all of the UAV systems required more command attention and effort than anyone

thought were necessary.


Section 3: The Analysis

 

The analysis proposes three alternatives to determine the optimal location

for UAV management. The three proposed alternative solutions are:

 

. Alternative l: Improve Current UAV Management and Leave Operational

Control in the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and

Intelligence Group.

 

. Alternative 2: Move UAV Management and Operational Control to

Aviation.

 

. Alternative 3: Move Management to Aviation but Leave UAVs Under

Operational Control of the Command Element.

 

The criteria for the analysis was developed from interviews with subject matter

experts, from briefing excerpts, and from a wargaming session conducted in the

Spring l994. The criteria are:

. Feasibility of Disseminating the Collected Information

. Manning Requirements

. Maintenance

. Airspace Management

. Strategic Lift and Deployment Flexibility

. Cost

. Training

. Doctrine Impact

 

To facilitate comparing the three alternatives using the eight criteria, I used a method similar to the Multi-factor Evaluation Process (MFEP). This is an established quantitative management process that assists the decision maker when there are many factors to be considered. Using this approach, I subjectively and intuitively assigned


weights to the criteria, with the total weight of all eight criteria adding up to 1.0. The criteria weights remain constant for all three alternatives. Since the mission of the UAV company is to provide unmanned aerial reconnaissance, the criteria are weighted as to their importance in completing the mission (see Table One below.)

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Continuing with the guidelines of the MFEP, I assigned evaluation weights that ranged on a scale from point one (0.l) to point five (0.5), with 0.1 representing an alternative with a definite disadvantage and O.5 representing an alternative with definite advantage (see Table Two). Unlike the criteria weights, the sum of the evaluation weights was not limited to 1.0. However, the individual evaluation factors were kept between 0.0 and 1.0 to ensure the results were kept to scale.


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Throughout the analysis the criteria are discussed individually. After the criteria discussion, the alternatives are rated using the scale in Table Two. The alternative is then assigned a score which is the product of the criteria weight and the evaluation factor. At the conclusion of the analysis, the alternatives' total score showed the best overall solution.

Assumptions

The alternatives developed for the analysis have several basic assumptions. First, the analysis assumes that the UAV company's communication links will be limited to standard Marine Corps communications equipment. This assumption is a realistic constraint that limits ideas that call for expenditures for new communications equipment and satellite leasing. The analysis also assumes that the logistics problems of training, spare parts, and technical manuals will remain with the Pioneer RPV program until it is deactivated. This assumption is based on Congress' historical reluctance to spend money on the Pioneer UAV system when it is close to being phased out. The Marine Corps


UAV Program Manager is also under the opinion that Pioneer UAV logistics would not be frilly developed within its remaining years. The last assumption pertains to the garrison location of the UAV system. If the system is under the operational control of the SRIG, the UAV companies will remain at their current locations which are Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Twenty-nine Palms, California. If the UAV company comes under the operational control of the Aviation Combat Element, they will locate at Marine Corps air bases or airfields.

Alternative 1 - Improve Current UAV Management and Leave Operational

Control in the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group.

This alternative closely represents how the UAV companies were established

prior to December l994, with minor improvements incorporated to improve readiness. This alternative keeps the UAV company under operational and administrative control of the SRJG. The SRIG remains responsible for staffing, training, and supporting the UAV company. The SRIG's Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SARC), which manages the MEF intelligence collection effort, tasks the company with missions. The UAV company retains all of its communication vehicles, equipment, and personnel, and it remains responsible for disseminating intelligence products via its organic communications section. The company passes intelligence information via the doctrinal intelligence networks or via direct communications with the unit it supports. The company coordinates its airspace requirements through the MEF Air Operations Section (MEF G-3 Air). The MEF G-3 Air Officer then coordinates the UAV airspace


requirements with the Marine Air Wing. Prior to air vehicle takeoff, the UAV operations section receives airspace clearance from the DASC. The UAV company's maintenance section performs first and second echelon maintenance on generators and trucks and performs up to fourth echelon maintenance on UAV specific equipment. The Force Service Support Group (FSSG) conducts third and fourth echelon repairs on the company's heavy equipment (forklifts, HMMWVs, and five ton trucks.) The UAV companies use the Marine Corps Integrated Maintenance Management System and the Supported Activity Supply System (MIMMS/SASSY), and Marine Corps Logistics Bases coordinating manufacturer or depot level maintenance repairs. MARCORSYSCOM and NAVAIR have clearly defined responsibilities concerning UAV program management, and MARCORSYSCOM sources the funding for operations and maintenance. MCCDC retains its functions of developing the troop list, training and education, requirements generation, concepts and plans, and studies and analysis, etc. The organizational manning

is predominantly ground-related MOSs; however, Aviation related occupational fields fill several leadership billets. The UAV companies develop Marine Corps-wide standard operating procedures for operations, maintenance, and training. HQMC C4I assumes occupational field sponsorship and MOS specialist responsibilities. HQMC Plans, Policies, and Operations is the central point of contact for issues concerning UAVs.


Alternative 2 - Move UAV Management and Operational Control to

Aviation.

Under this alternative, Aviation assumes responsibility for the operations, training, maintenance, and funding of UAV systems. The Aviation Combat Element (ACE) takes operational and administrative control of UAV systems and the accompanying personnel. The UAV companies become squadrons and higher headquarters' tasks are filtered through the MAW and the Marine Air Group (MAG). The UAV squadrons adopt a training and readiness program which emulates other Aviation programs. The UAV squadrons transfer their non-UAV equipment (forklifts, generators, tents, and extraneous trucks, etc.) and facilities personnel to the Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS). Non-UAV system specific communications equipment and related personnel transfer to the Marine Wing Communications Squadron (MWCS). Prior to deployment, the UAV squadrons request support from the MWSS and the MWCS, similar to other Aviation squadrons. The Naval Aviation Maintenance Program (NAMP) delineates the maintenance practices and procedures for UAV system equipment (air vehicles, ground data terminals, etc.), and the squadron uses the MIMMSISASSY for the remainder of the squadron's table of equipment. The squadron has an aviation maintenance officer assigned for overall maintenance control, and a clerk assigned for MIMMSISASSY management and administration. The UAV system's third and fourth echelon maintenance converts to intermediate maintenance, and the Marine Air Logistic Squadron (MALS) conducts these repairs. The FSSG repairs heavy equipment, generators and

ground-based communications equipment. Mishap and hazard reporting falls under the


Naval Aviation Safety Program. MCCDC retains all of its functions as described under alternative one. Aviation assumes responsibility for occupational field sponsorship and MOS specialists. Naval Air Depots or the manufacturer conducts depot level repair. HQMC and NAVAIR relations remain as they currently exist. HQMC Aviation is the central point of contact for UAV policy issues concerning Joint Force Air Component Commander, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

Alternative 3 - Move Management to Aviation but leave UAVs under

Operational Control of the Command Element.

This alternative combines the first two alternatives in order to determine if a hybrid alternative is the optimal solution. Under this alternative, Aviation assumes responsibility for the maintenance, training, and providing the required occupational fields. Aviation has administrative control of the UAV company and the SRIG has operational control. The UAV organizations remain as companies. The SRJG collates requests for intelligence collection and assigns collection tasks to the UAV company. Operations and maintenance funding for the UAV system's equipment comes from Aviation. MARCORSYSCOM provides funds for the operations and maintenance of the remainder of the table of equipment. The UAV companies abide by the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program and the Naval Aviation Safety Program. Communications and engineering support, and the people required to operate this equipment, remains with the UAV company. Parts requiring intermediate level maintenance are shipped to the MALS


via the fastest available means. The UAV companies deploy with a "parts pack up" to avoid waiting for spare parts to come from the MALS. HQMC Aviation and Plans,

Policies, and Operations coordinates issues concerning external agencies.

Criteria #l: Feasibility of Disseminating UAV Products

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the dissemination criteria is the one that best enables the UAV company to communicate and transmit imagery and data across the theater of operations in the simplest and most practical manner. Alternative one leaves the company with what appears to be a robust

dissemination capability. With this alternative the company has High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios as permanent property. These radios enable the company to monitor nine radio networks for operations. These networks are: UAV operations, tactical air direction, landing force intelligence, helicopter direction, naval gunfire, fire support coordination, conduct of fire, landing force reconnaissance, and landing force tactical networks. The variety of networks are necessary because the UAV company must be capable of interfacing with all the agencies that it might support. Additionally, the company must coordinate its missions with other agencies to prevent mutual interference. The companies also have radios in the table equipment to provide an intra-company telephone capability for routine

operations and relay equipment to extend radio ranges. Despite the amount of equipment, the companies have had a history of problems communicating with units that are


separated by a great distance from the company, and they have had problems

communicating directly with pilots flying in the vicinity.

Alternative one and three keep the communications equipment in the UAV

company which is how they have historically operated. This concept supports

communication doctrine which normally has the supporting units (the UAV company in this case) responsible for providing their own communication equipment. This is a necessary, but heavy burden on the UAV company, considering the number of networks that require monitoring. If the UAV company is working from a distant runway, which it frequently does, it must also establish radio relays to maintain radio contact with the supported units. This places an even heavier burden on the UAV companies. If the imagery is sent to the SRIG, which has a robust communication network (Super High Frequency (SHF), microwave, and multi-channel radios), many of the dissemination problems can be resolved. However, the UAV company does not always have access to this equipment because it requires a runway and can not always colocate with the SRIG.

Alternative two combines the communication capabilities of the MWSS and the DASC. Communication with the DASC has several advantages. First, it has

ground-to-air radio equipment and multi-channel microwave telephone networks. This gives it a reliable communication link with MEF operations and the SARC, and retransmission requirements are no longer the company's responsibility. Second, the DASC is usually in direct contact with the fire support coordination center. This enables the UAV operators to centrally coordinate targets for air or artillery attack. This alternative also enables the company to capitalize on other communications assets. The


MWSS provides each MAG with high volume multi-channel radio equipment to

communicate with higher headquarters. The MAG communication equipment includes

multi-channel radios which support wide area and local area networks. Alternative two may limit the flexibility of the system because the company no longer has organic communications equipment. The centralization of equipment may require the UAV squadrons to compete for communication assets in certain situations; and not every situation can be anticipated. If communications equipment is required on a routine basis, there is nothing to prevent some equipment remaining at the UAV company. Aviation squadrons routinely have radios available to talk with incoming aircraft. In a worst case scenario, the UAV company almost always has the option to move adjacent to the supported unit.

Comparison. Alternative one and three have a slight disadvantage because of the effort required to man and equip relay stations and continuously man all the radio networks. Alternative two has a slight advantage because it capitalizes on capable, centralized communications. Alternative two is not rated as a great advantage because centralized comunications can potentially limit flexibility. Table Three compares the weighted results of this criteria.


Criteria #2: Manning Requirements

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the manning requirements criteria is the one that enables the company to provide UAV missions while minimizing the manpower requirements of the Marine Corps.

The proper table of organization has never been determined for UAV companies. Since Pioneer UAV was procured without an Integrated Logistics Support Plan, the manning level and the correct MOSs for it were a "best guess." Upon his return from "Operations Thumbs Up," the detachment commander noted that operating the Mastiff RPV system definitely required aviation experience. However, Aviation was reluctant to give up the manpower. Aviation claimed it would be misusing training resources if their personnel were placed in a program that lacked Hardware and Manpower Integration Analysis or the Logistics Support Analysis. Consequently, the companies have been manned with artillerymen, truck drivers, electronic repair technicians, and an occasional aviator or air defense officer.

Without the benefit of a manpower analysis, the advantages between ground and aviation MOSs appear to be minimal. Many of the job skills in the UAV company require MOSs that are used in other support organizations; these skills are: generator mechanics, truck drivers, intelligence analysts, wire men, etc. Some MOSs skills are so similar to each other that picking a ground or an aviation occupational field probably will not make a difference. For example, the radar repair MOSs can be found in the artillery battery and the air control group. Miniature electronic component repair can be found in the Force Service Support Group, Forward Anti-Air Defense Battalion, and the MALS.


However, not all skills are transferable, such as experienced aviators, air controllers, and safety officers.

Comparison. Alternative one, which appears to require the largest amount of people, requires further examination. We must evaluate what it takes to do the company's mission before evaluating which manning level is the most appealing. Alternative one does not change the UAV company's mission or how it accomplishes its mission. This alternative requires the largest amount of people because the UAV company provides self-security, transportation, communication, and it does not have to wait for someone else to fix their UAV system's equipment. The company's combat workload is large, and it is dispersed among a large number of Marines.

Alternative two gives the ACE many benefits while supporting its UAV squadron. Since the personnel normally supporting maintenance and communications move to different MAW organizations, the UAV is stripped of a large portion of its size. The other organizations of the MAW are now richer in personnel with the assumption that centralized manning is just as good for UAV squadrons as it is for regular squadrons. A savings in personnel is not likely to be realized by the Marine Corps because the total workload has not changed. In alternative two, the UAV squadron not only works from a more secure area, the amount of security personnel are supplied from many units. Under this alternative, the UAV squadron still performs reconnaissance missions, but does it with less people immediately on hand.


Alternative three maintains the communication personnel in the UAV company

but moves the maintenance personnel to the MALS. The remainder of the company is

basically unaffected. This alternative down-sizes the manning level of the company; however, the company performs its missions as if nothing else has changed. This puts the company at a definite disadvantage because the mission in this alternative still requires the UAV company to provide security to its perimeter. However, a large number of the personnel were provided by the maintenance department, which has moved to the MALS. As the company becomes smaller, the wartime workload becomes greater for the remaining personnel.

In summary, the apparent manning difference is justifiable between the first two alternatives because the missions are accomplished in a different manner. However, the stated criteria is to maintain mission capability while minimizing the manning requirements of the Marine Corps. Considering the criteria, alternative one appears to have a slight disadvantage because the mission may be accomplished in a more efficient manner. Alternative two has the highest probability of shifting manpower but not reducing requirements. Alternative three reduces manpower, but places the company in jeopardy because the mission is the same but the manning levels are reduced. Table Four compares the weighted results of this criteria.

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Criteria 3: Maintenance

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the criteria for maintenance is the one that provides the highest system capability with the lowest cost in parts and manpower.

Alternative one recommends maintaining the UAV system with all maintenance procedures falling under the guidelines of MIMMSISASSY. It also suggests using all ground maintenance MOSs and performing up to fourth echelon maintenance repairs at the company's location. Localizing repair enables the UAV company to retain maintenance control. There are several disadvantages to the Marine Corps when it creates third and fourth echelon "satellite" repair facilities similar to that of the UAV company. First, the Marine Corps' overall repair capability suffers because electronic maintenance technicians are dispersed over many units. These Marines are in high demand because of the dispersion, and they are not easy to replace because they require a lengthy training to obtain their skills. Every technician tied to the UAV company is one that is not repairing equipment for the total force. Second, focusing the technicians only on UAV systems may be a misuse of manpower and talent. Although the systems require

troubleshooters during missions, it is hard to imagine that one or two UAV systems would keep a third or fourth echelon electronic technician gainfully employed. Also, by being secluded from the FSSG, the technician does not remain proficient in the repair of other equipment, and he does not continue to develop the management skills expected of a Marine in the FSSG. The alternative could propose leaving the Marines at the FSSG and ship the components for repair. This, too, has disadvantages. If the UAV system's components were sent there, the speed of repair would depend on the current workload of
the FSSG. The only way to circumvent the FSSG first-in-first-out (FIFO) repair

sequence would require high-level command intervention, or require the UAV Company to have a higher Force Activity Designator (FAD)39 than the organizations competing for repair. Neither of these two options are likely. Alternative two employs the NAMP. Like MIMMS/SASSY, the NAMP establishes required maintenance, supply and documentation procedures. However, aviation platforms, and their subcomponents, are typically more expensive and are in fewer quantities than ground systems. To maintain the established aviation readiness goals, the repair cycle must be more responsive than the ground maintenance cycle. Several organizational and procedural differences enable this alacrity. First, the MALS is located within the same MAG as the UAV squadron.. Therefore, both organizations work for the same MAG commanding officer. This creates a tight system of accountability for mission capability, maintenance, and supply. Additionally, the physical location of the MALS and the squadron are very close, and transferring parts back and forth is relatively cheap and simple. Aviation does not employ "satellite" repair facilities because its force structure is designed for centralized maintenance and because of the high cost of specialized tools and test equipment. Alternative two offers a spin-off advantage in that it can centralize its spare parts in the Naval Aviation Supply System, since the Navy is employing the same UAV systems.

Alternative three is virtually the same as alternative two except the MALS is separated from the UAV company. This could slow repair time because the overall maintenance effort is split in two locations. For example, while in garrison, 2d UAV


Company is located in Camp Lejeune. The nearest MALS is at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, normally a 50 minute drive. At Twenty-nine Palms, the nearest MALS is at Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, California and takes several hours of driving. Overcoming the disadvantage of distance requires a larger quantity of spare parts kept at the company level. In wartime, the distance between the MALS and the UAV company may become overburdening. Also, if it were more cost effective to stock large quantities of parts than to repair them quickly, we might as well use the MIMMS/SASSY program. Either way, the disadvantage of not having a local repair facility would either increase the

costs of operating the system because of parts storage, or reduce the operational availability of the system while it waits for parts.

Comparison. Alternative one requires a satellite maintenance capability which requires expensive test equipment to be located at the UAV company. The localized manpower enables a quick response to repairs, but may have a detrimental effect on the skills of the repairmen. Because there are so few UAV systems, we can assume the repairmen will have a lot of idle time. Alternative two provides a much greater advantage than the others. It provides a system of quick repair, minimizes the quantity of spares required, minimizes the maintenance personnel, and maintains repairmen training at the highest level. Alternative three does not offer an advantage because the outlined assumptions state that the analysis is working with Pioneer UAV's logistic system. There

are too few spare parts to keep a viable parts storeroom. If parts were available this


alternative would still require a cost analysis before an advantage was realized. Table Five compares the weighted results of this criteria.

Criteria #4: Airspace Management

Discussion. The alternative that best meets the criteria for airspace management is the one that best allows both UAVs and manned aircraft to use the same airspace with the least amount of effort.

UAVs present serious hazards while flying in airspace with other aircraft for a number of reasons. First, most UAVs have flight parameters similar to low performance aircraft; they are hard to see by the naked eye and difficult to detect on radar. Second, the UAVs that have imaging payloads have a very narrow field of view, which only affords a "soda straw" perspective to the UAV operator. This poor visual perspective diminishes most chances of seeing and avoiding other airborne platforms. Finally, because the UAV payload does not give the operator much situational awareness, UAVs can not be responsive to evasive maneuvers for mid-air avoidance like manned aircraft.

Airspace control prevents mutual interference from all users of the air space. This includes high performance aircraft as well as missiles, helicopters, and UAVs. To comply with airspace management, the Marine Corps UAV companies use doctrine that


emulates manned aviation. Doctrinally and operationally, there is nothing to preclude the air vehicle from flying the same air control points and air corridors that are published in the air control order. Had the Pioneer UAV company not been able to comply with established airspace procedures, the Marine Corps probably would have never let their air vehicles off the ground. If the UAV operators, pilots, and airspace controllers are doing their job correctly, UAVs only pose a minor risk to the safety of other aircraft. Regardless

of who is in operational control, the risks of poor airspace coordination, air vehicle software failures, and airborne platforms wandering out of their assigned air space will always be present.

Comparison. There are no advantages or disadvantages to alternative one and three. The airspace has always been coordinated between the company and the DASC prior to any UAV taking off. Pilots that are fearful of flying in airspace shared with UAVs will not gain any assurance of greater safety if the air vehicles are flown by one Marine Corps organization or the other. Alternative two has a slight advantage with this criteria. First, it places all airspace management under the direct control of the ACE. The ACE will be directly responsible for disseminating the air tasking order and ensuring airspace deconfliction. One could suppose the ACE would do this whether or not they

had operational control of the companies. However, the advantage of this alternative is that the ACE is now solely responsible for ensuring that the correct measures are implemented. The ACE will also be able to work Joint Force Air Component Commander issues without having to first coordinate with the SRIG. Second, if UAVs


are in manned airspace and the mission can not support simultaneous support of manned and unmanned aircraft, there is one central agency to decide who remains in the area. This situation may arise when there is a target rich environment in which artillery and close air support are working in close proximity. Table Six compares the weighted results of this criteria.

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Criteria #5: Strategic Lift and Deployment Flexibility

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that minimizes the strategic lift while still providing the company with enough flexibility to accomplish its mission.

Transporting the entire Pioneer UAV company into theater requires approximately five C-5 Galaxy aircraft. This strategic lift requirement is exceptionally large because of the amount of support equipment the company requires to accomplish its mission. The Pioneer RPV company has over ten High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) for radio transportation, and it has as many as 9 five-ton trucks to haul the air vehicles, GSE, and field gear. The companies bring their own armory, imagery exploitation equipment, electrical power generators, fuel trucks, and a maintenance section complete with third and fourth echelon test equipment. The Short Range UAV,


shown in Figure One, will require approximately five C-5 aircraft just to transport UAV system-specific equipment.

Comparison. Alternative one maintains a high degree of employment flexibility one the system gets to the operational theater because the company is virtually left autonomous. The system is capable of deploying in the field, sustaining itself, and providing side-by-side operations with the supported unit. However, once the company is in place, most of the vehicles sit idle. Although this alternative provides a large degree of flexibility, it may be more advantageous to have a contingency plan for mobility than to carry seldom used equipment into a theater of operations.

Using alternative two reduces the UAV company's lift requirements by combining the company's organic maintenance, communications, and field support sections. The company's lift is reduced because it depends on the MALS for maintenance, the MWCS for communications and the MWSS for field support equipment. Additionally, the UAV will be able to use the DASC communications networks to receive mission assignments and transmit collected information. This alternative does not assume that strategic lift requirements will be lessened by transferring assets; it assumes that much of the equipment can be eliminated because it is redundant.

Alternative three remains at a slight disadvantage in minimizing lift requirements. The maintenance lift requirement is less, but the communications equipment remains the same. The alternative seems to provide a greater degree of flexibility than alternative two but it does not. The communications equipment used by aviation is more robust and

more compact than that of the current UAV company. Therefore, this alternative

compared to alternative two provides less communications capability for a greater lift requirement. Additionally, the space saved in maintenance equipment may wind up being used for stocking spare parts, if they were available.

In summary, alternative one requires the most strategic lift and provides a degree of flexibility that may be provided by other means. Alternative two minimizes strategic lift and provides flexibility with support organizations. Alternative three falls between the other alternatives in strategic lift because maintenance is provided by the MALS, and flexibility remains equal to alternative one. Considering the opportunity cost for strategic

lift, alternative two is the best choice. Table Seven compares the weighted results of this criteria.

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Criteria #6: Cost

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that minimizes the total operations and maintenance costs, as well as the opportunity costs of using UAVs, while maintaining a high state of readiness.

Operating and maintaining UAV companies is expensive. Per the Navy-Marine

Corps UAV MOA, the Navy Program Office has provided the funds to operate the


Pioneer UAV Systems, and it is difficult to break out which costs strictly pertain to the Marine Corps. However, the Marine Corps will be expected to pay for the operations and maintenance costs in the near future. These costs are optimistically predicted to be approximately $3 million per year, and they do not include the additional costs of both manpower and the operations and maintenance of Marine Corps specific equipment. In comparing the costs of the alternatives, it is logical to assume that UAV system-specific costs would be the same for the three alternatives. It is also logical to assume that

MARCORSYSCOM would pay for non-system specific equipment such as extra

generators, radios, vehicles, etc., regardless of who pays for the UAV specific equipment. To determine the true cost benefit, this analysis considered the alternative's opportunity costs, manpower costs, and operational costs of employing the UAV system. A major opportunity cost is the strategic lift which has already been discussed. The MEF Commander can transport a tremendous amount of fire power in five C-5 aircraft in lieu of one UAV company. The commander may decide that deploying ground troops or attack helicopters into the theater may be more advantageous and provide greater versatility than deploying limited-purpose UAVs.

Comparison. Alternative one would have MARCORSYSCOM fund the entire

operations and maintenance cost of UAVs. This alternative requires the largest amount of manning and the largest amount of organic ground equipment. Therefore, the costs directly attributable to the UAV company are much higher. In comparison, alternative two uses the least amount of ground equipment because it capitalizes on the assets of the


MWSS and MWCS. A manpower cost comparison between alternative one and two is

likely to show no difference since the support personnel are transferring from one location to another and not necessarily being eliminated. The MWSS and MWCS will require more equipment and personnel than they had prior to supporting the UAV companies. Since a side-by-side comparison has not been made, a cost advantage of alternative two over alternative one can not be made.

Alternative three remains in between the other alternatives considering people and equipment. Alternative three would set a precedent which is not likely to be accepted by the Aviation Community. It calls for Aviation to pay for a system that it does not control.

In my analysis, I also considered the opportunity costs of trading strategic lift for the flexibility that mobility provides. With alternative one and three, the UAV company has a large degree of mobility once it is in theater. Depending on the theater of operations, the transportation costs may be worth the mobility. I took two things into account. First, we are professing littoral warfare and maneuver from the sea, and we will be operating a UAV system with a range of one hundred miles. The costs of transporting a UAV company with great mobility may not be worth the costs. We must also consider that during Desert Storm the UAV companies made less than a handful of moves in the nine months they were in theater. MAG 26, in comparison, made three moves in less than

six months with transportation support coming from the MAW.

In summary, determining the total costs of operating and sustaining UAV systems will be difficult to quantify for several years. The actual costs of operating only the UAV


system will be the same, regardless of who is in operational control. The difference will be dependent upon how the Marine Corps employs the system. Alternative one will have the largest table of equipment, and therefore, will have the highest operations and maintenance costs. The maintenance costs of this equipment is not extreme, so the alternative was judged as a slight disadvantage. Alternative three has the same disadvantages. Alternative two has a slight advantage in that it conserves some money and strategic lift by centralizing assets. Table Eight compares the weighted results of this

criteria.

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Criteria #7: Training

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that can most efficiently train Marines and enable them to retain their proficiency.

Training requirements are normally developed as a logistics task in the process of acquiring a new system. The program manager develops training by comparing the skills required to operate the system and then looks for MOSs that have comparable skills. This comparison is called a Hardware and Manpower Integration Analysis. Once training requirements are determined, the program manager pays for training on new equipment while the Service's budgeting system programs for future funding responsibilities. Some


programs require a formal training syllabus while others get by with onthe-job-training. Since the Marine Corps has few, if any, occupational fields that have skills similar to flying and repairing remote control airplanes, UAV operators and maintainers require formal training. The occupational field sponsor allocates school quotas and travel funds for formal training. When there are funding shortfalls for formal training, the occupational field sponsor decides on the priority of training.

There are two major drawbacks to anyone attempting to manage Pioneer RPV

training. First, the lack of a completed Hardware Manpower Integration Analysis for both the Pioneer UAV system and the Short Range UAV system make selecting suitable MOSs for training an educated guess. In the past, there have been several mishaps due to the mechanics making minor errors that might not have been critical if they were working on a truck; however, they were very critical when working on an air vehicle. Although those mishaps may also be linked to training deficiencies, choosing a more closely related MOS may have prevented these mishaps. The second major drawback in training is the DUTC student throughput. The student training rate is very finite and is not going to

change from one sponsor to the other. To optimize the cost of training, the occupational field sponsor will have to work in close coordination with HQMC Manpower Management to coordinate school seats and track training.

The major difference in ground and aviation training is how the two manage and maintain standards. Ground MOSs have individual training standards that are outlined in Marine Corps Order 1510 Series. Aviation uses the Aviation Training and Readiness Manual (T&R Manual), Marine Corps Order 3500.1 Series. Each ground related MOS


has an individual Marine Corps Order within the 1510 series that outlines performance standards. The T&R Manual is a five volume series designed to standardize aircrew and Marine Air Command and Control System Personnel training to specific performance requirements. The two references are very similar; they both establish MOS standards which are eventually evaluated by the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System. The major difference, however, is that Aviation's T&R Manual requires each aircrewman or air controller to maintain proficiency to ensure safety and combat readiness. This proficiency is maintained by systematically monitoring the frequency of how often training takes place. Some training skills are considered perishable and require

a high frequency of repetition; other skills are simpler and are repeated much less often. Although Aviation has automated their system and made it somewhat sophisticated, they are not the only Marine organizations that closely monitor proficiency. Marine Corps scuba divers and parachutists have similar programs to ensure proficiency. All of the programs that measure proficiency have the goal of maintaining a mix of combat readiness and safety.

Comparison. Alternative one places the occupational field sponsor in HQMC

C4I which would be appropriate since the system is an intelligence collector. This would also allow C4I to determine the training priorities if there was a training dollar shortfall. There has only been one short period in recent history that training dollars for formal training were limited. Alternative two and three have training responsibilities belonging to Aviation. Aviation can determine its training priorities just as well as C4I. One can


argue that although Aviation has a well developed training management program, it is not fully developed for UAVs. It would be just as easy for someone else to develop the same program. Aviation's advantage is that it has the expertise to incorporate the UAVs into the system vice having to start from scratch. Previous attempts to standardize UAV operations, similar to aviation, were met with resistance by non-aviation UAV Company Commanders. Assuming the "incorporated changes" were made to alternative one, which includes a proficiency program, there is no advantage of one alternative over the other.

There is another aspect to training that must not be overlooked. There are only a few MALS, and they are usually in two types of groups, rotary-wing and fixed wing. This narrows the variety of MOSs and the number of Marines that fill MALS billets. By placing the UAV intermediate maintenance in the MALS, vice the FSSG, the Marine Corps has the potential to minimize the number of people it has to cycle through training at DUTC. The counter argument is that FSSG can track secondary MOS training just as well as Aviation. Overall, I saw little advanatge of one alternative over the other. Table Nine compares the weighted results for this criteria.

Image


Criteria #8: Doctrine Impact

Discussion. The alternative that best meets this criteria is the one that least affects the doctrine of the Marine Corps. Doctrine is not difficult to change; however, this analysis looked beyond transparent doctrine and tried to determine if the roles and missions of the SRIG, Aviation or the Marine Corps would change by transferring UAVs. The analysis also compared how the SRIG and MAW tasked their respective

organizations to determine if this would cause a major shift in MEF operations.

Marine Air-Ground Task Force Intelligence Operation (Fleet Marine Force

Manual (FMFM) 3-2l, and UAV Company Operations, FMFM 3-22-i, thoroughly

outline the responsibilities of intelligence collection and UAV company responsibilities. While in garrison, the SRIG is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping its units to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence missions. When the SRIG deploys, it forms the MEF Commander's intelligence section. The intelligence section has a Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SARC) which centrally tasks external agencies to collect information. The Collection Requirements Officer, working in the SARC, refines and details collection requirements and plans how to employ ground assets. The SARC tasks the ACE with collection missions; however, it does not plan how

to employ the ACE assets. Doctrine for Aviation Intelligence, FMFM 3-27, discusses the use of UAVs in the aviation collection effort but discusses neither the MEF collection process nor UAV communication networks. Doctrine for UAV Company Operations discusses how the company plans, coordinates and executes its missions. Overall, the doctrine concerning UAVs allows for a large degree of flexibility. A review of the


doctrinal literature suggests changing UAV management does not require major changes in any publications or major changes in the conduct of UAV missions.

Comparison. Alternative one and three have the advantage of keeping the current doctrine in place. The current doctrine has been combat proven and has been continually revised since the Mastiff RPV. Alternative two requires incorporating several small changes in several publications. Most of these changes are minor and pertain to the location of the UAV company. Current Marine doctrine professes the MEF as the warfighter and all the assets in the MEF belong to one commander. None of the alternatives had advantages or disadvantages over one another. Table Ten compares the weighted results for this criteria.

Image

Comparing the Evaluation

After completing the MFEP, the individual criteria's weighted results are

summarized in Table Eleven. Although the advantages or disadvantages of each criteria were usually slight, the combined total placed alternative two at a considerable advantage. Table Eleven shows the combined results of the analysis.


Image

Section 4: Conclusion

From the results of the analysis, the decision made by the Executive Steering Group (ESG) appears to be a sound one. Time and experience will be the only true determinant of whether the decision and the analysis were correct. After ten years of operational use, the UAV companies are still refining their doctrine, standing operating procedures, and techniques. Aviation will certainly not develop new and better techniques overnight. A thorough review of their operations, revealed nothing technically wrong with how the SRIG employed the UAV company. The companies were treated just like every other SRIG asset; they were independent and self-supporting. However, this autonomy came with a high price. The UAV company's table of equipment had uncontrolled growth because they did not have the support they felt was necessary to function. The communications and maintenance sections and their ensuing strategic lift requirements became overbearing. Trained personnel were moved by HQMC with no regard to the cost of recently acquired training. The ESG had the responsibility to pick an

alternative that provided a more efficient method of sustaining the UAV systems.

Aviation will have a great deal of scrutiny placed on it, and they are in the lime light to improve Pioneer UAV and prepare for the Short Range UAV. However, there are many things aviation is unlikely to do. They will not be providing an immediate improvement in their mission capability because of the absense of a better parts repair system. Aviation, like the SRIG, will be constrained by the amount of money Congress allows DoD to spend on the Pioneer UAV. This constraint has been the major drawback


in mission capability and it has been that way for years. Aviation will also not make routine deployments any easier, the systems will require more coordination and greater lead times than the Pioneer UAV companies previously required. Aviation will probably not improve airspace coordination. Airspace coordination has not been a major problem in the past, and operating the UAV or controlling its airspace will require continued close coordination. There are many things Aviation will bring to the UAVs program. It will provide the experience of managing a training and safety program that emulates manned aviation and provide a slight improvement in communications with a less lift.

Moving the management to Aviation and leaving the operational control to the SRIG needed to be examined and proved to be only marginally better than leaving the UAV companies in the SRIG. The strategic lift was marginally reduced because the maintenance was moved to aviation, but the system required carrying spare parts. Unfortunately, there are no extra parts to store. Additionally, moving the maintenance people in the combat rear area and keeping the UAV company on the front line did not make a lot of tactical sense. Many of the maintenance people could be used for security if they were located with the UAV company.

There are many risks in the decision made by the ESG. The first risk concerns force structure. Force structure is the amount of people required to perform the units mission. If force structure is moved from one sponsor to another, it usually requires intervention as high as the ESG to move it again. Aviation does not know how many people are really required to operate a UAV company under their system, and if they act too quickly, they may jeopardize their newly acquired program. This leads to the next


risk. The DoD has yet to frilly field a tactical UAV. Pioneer UAV is theoretically being phased out, but Short Range UAV has major developmental problems. There is a great possibility that Aviation may be blamed for canceling another tactical reconnaissance program when it was beyond their control.


Section Five: Recommendation

It is my recommendation that the Marine Corps maintain all UAV management

under the administration and control of the Department of Aviation. The first task of Aviation should be to stabilize the mission capability of the Pioneer UAV companies. It is of paramount importance that a manpower assessment be made to determine the correct MOSs that are required by the system. Aviation needs to become deeply involved with the planned acquisition of the Short Range UAV. Aviation also needs to determine how the Marine Corps will pay for the UAV systems in the future. The diminishing operations and maintenance budget may grossly affect how we conduct our UAV training and sustainment.

There are other areas that require further research. Aviation needs to determine if manned aviation is still a viable discipline for tactical aerial imagery reconnaissance. The concept of flying a manned aircraft over a target area does not seem tactically sound. Aviation should also investigate whether a UAV as large as the Pioneer or the Short Range is really the optimum capability provider. Perhaps a very small, expendable UAV and a large, long endurance UAV is what the Marine Corps really needs.

We should continue to investigate the training program for UAVs. Currently all initial UAV training is performed at the DUTC. Perhaps a better method would be to emulate the Weapons and Tactics Instructor program. In this program, only the instructors go to the school. New students are taught by squadron instructors while performing routine training. This concept could save travel money and open a great opportunity to train new operators at the discretion of the commander.


We should also investigate the possibility of sharing our concepts of operations with the Navy. The Navy and Marine Corps are professing littoral warfare and a doctrine of "Forward...from the Sea." However, neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps have thoroughly studied the requirements of operating from the sea and phasing ashore. UAVs are here to stay, so we may as well implement the program in an efficient and effective manner.


Notes

1 Rolling With the Second Marine Division," US Naval Institute Proceedings, 22

November 199l, 80.

2 Mishap (aircraft accidents) rates are calculated by the Naval Safety Center as the number of "Alpha class" mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. An "Alpha class" mishap is defined as a total loss of an aircraft or aircraft damage that exceeds $l million. A "Bravo class" mishap is defined as damage ranging from $200,000 to $1 million. The mishap rate for Naval Aviation varies from year to year; however the range is usually between 2.5 to 4.5. As of 26 January l995, the flight hours for all Pioneer air vehicles, to include the Army, Navy and Marine Corps totaled less than 11,000 hours with 53 air vehicles destroyed. This would put the mishap rate at approximately 480. The Marine Corps had 18 air vehicles that sustained Alpha class damage and another 18 air vehicles that sustained Bravo class mishaps in the first six years of flying. The Marine Corps has acquired less than 5000 Pioneer air vehicle flight hours to date.

3 Paul Heinold, Assistant Program Manager for Marine Corps UAVs, interview with author, 15 February 1995.

4 Brendan M. Greeley, Jr., "Operational Requirements Drive Procurement of RPVs," Aviation Week and Space Technology, 28 April 1986, 42.

5 Pat Cooper, "Hunter UAV's Future Rests On Software Fix," Defense News, 6-l2 February l995, 8.

6 Joint Chiefs of Staff Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, Washington, DC, 23 March 1994.

7 Thomas J. Gleason, Datalink Tradeoffs for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (U), Gleason Research Associates, Incorporated, GRA Report l28, June l988, 22.

8 United States Marine Corps. Annual Report of the Commandant of the Marine to the Secretary of the Navy for Fiscal Year l954. Enclosure (l) page II-7.

9 L.R. Fuchs, Major, USMC,. "Unmanned Aircraft," Marine Corps Gazette, October l98l, 6l-66.

10 Fuchs, 62.

11 Fuchs, 62.


l2 L.P. Charon, Major, USMC, "Front Line Photo Drone Ready for Robot Recon," Marine Corps Gazette, Aug l966, 38.

l3 Maj H.L. Scott, "Tactical Imagery Processing," Marine Corps Gazette,

September l966, l2.

14 Fuchs, 62.

15 Jack Kestner, "DASH a Big Success in the Japanese Navy," Ledger-Star,

September 29, l971, Section B-1.

l6 Jack Kestner, "Navy dumps DASH after $250 Million Dollar Cost," Ledger-Star,

Sept 27, 197l, Section B-1.

17 Jack Kestner, Ledger-Star, 1 October 1971, Section B-1.

l8 Fialka, John J. "Simple Army Drone Grows Complicated, Expensive, and Late"

Wall Street Journal, November 23, l984, A-1.

l9 General Accounting Office Report to Congress MASAD-8l-20, 3 April l98l,

DoD's Use of Remotely Piloted Vehicle Technology Offers Opportunities For Saving

Lives And Dollars, 4.

20 GAO, "Report to Congress MASAD-81-20," 23.

2l Bruce A. Smith, "Israeli Use Bolsters Interest in Mini RPVs, Aviation Week and Space Technology, l8 July 1983, 67-71.

Major Franklin D. McKinney, USMC, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Development:

How Good Is Good Enough? MMS Paper (Quantico, Virginia: Marine Corps Command

and Staff College, 2 May 1994), 5.

Colonel Bruce Brunn, 2d Remotely Piloted Vehicle Platoon Commander, 1984-5

interview with author, 18 January 1995.

22 Brunn, interview.

23 John F. Lehman, Command of the Seas, Building the 600 Ship Navy, Charles

Scribbner's Son's, New York, l988, 328.

24 Lehman, 332.

25 Lehman, 328-9.

26 Philip J. Klass,. "Lebanon Lessons Raise Interest in RPVs," Aviation Week and

Space Technology, 20 August 1984, 44-46.


27 Dave Griffiths and Paula Dwyer, "The Navy's 'Drone' Contract: Fair Bid or Fait Accompli?" Business Week, l Aug 88, 30.

28 Brunn, interview.

29 Curt Perry, Major, USMC, Maintenance Officer, Mastiff RPV, l984-l985

30 Headquarters Marine Corps POG-20 24 January l985 signed by LtGen Trainor

Deputy Chief of Plans Policies and Operations and Vice Admiral Lyons, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans, Policies, and Operations)

31 Headquarters Marine Corps Route Sheet POG-22 dated l5 Apr 85.

32 "AAI Corp. Receives Contract for Three Navy RPV Systems," Aviation Week and

Space Technology, l3 Jan l986, 28.

33 Mark Rayfield, Major, USMC, Operations Officer and later Executive Officer

1 st RPV Company l987, interview with author, l7 February l995.

34 Brunn, interview. This is Col Brunn's opinion about how NAVAIR worked.

35 The term "one system" is meant to imply that is all they have. In fact, DUTC has less than one complete UAV system. Because so many air vehicles were crashed in the beginning of the program and Congress terminated the Program's ability to replace them, all Pioneer RPV systems have less than the planned eight air vehicles per system.

36 John Beadling, LtCol, USMC (Ret.), Program Manager for Pioneer RPV

NAVAIR (PMA-263D), l992-l995, interview with author, 22 February l99S.

37 In normal acquisition programs the Program Manager is usually responsible for

new equipment training. Once the system is frilly fielded, training is paid for through other sources, depending on the training and type of school.

38 Barry Render and Ralph M. Stair, Jr., Quantitative Analysis for Management, 4th edition, (Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, l99l), l98-200

39 L.P. Gerencser, Major, USMC, Ground Supply Officer, interview with author, 3

April 95. The Force Activity Designator (FAD) places priority with deployed units or units getting ready for war.


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