Budget sequestration’s return would impact combat support services that special operations forces and counterterrorism activities rely on, like logistics and, in particular, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance work, warned Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict
Michael Lumpkin on Tuesday. “We don’t have enough ISR, and we do the best with what we have,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats panel. Any cutbacks to the number of overhead ISR orbits supporting combatant commanders around the world would affect those operations, he said. Reduced ISR means less visibility and “fidelity” in areas where SOF forces operate, and over time, would affect counterterrorism work, too, he said. Lumpkin also highlighted the need for SOF
aircraft modernization. Even though the services buy special-mission aircraft, US Special Operations Command makes modifications to them, he said. Reduced funding means the services would purchase airplanes at a slower rate, which would have “long-term impacts for capabilities,” said Lumpkin. (Lumpkin’s
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
An F-35A Lightning II assigned to Hill AFB, Utah,
conducts a training flight with F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to Kunsan
AB, Republic of Korea, over the city of Gunsan, on Dec. 1, 2017,
in preparation for Vigilant Ace 18.
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