December 4, 2008—As the demand has grown for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance products, particularly the persistent ISR provided by unmanned aerial vehicles, the Air Force has ramped up its UAV operations. For the MQ-1B Predator UAV alone, the Air Force has increased combat air patrols by more than 500 percent over the past four years. And, according to Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF's deputy chief of staff for ISR, speaking at AFA's recent Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, "There's no end in sight for the demand." Already, the service has bettered the DOD program of record for Predator CAPS, providing eight more than the requested 21 CAPS—and 18 months ahead of schedule.
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