So I'm reading Esquire's new thumb-sucker of a feature article with the typical -- and increasingly mandatory -- "UAVs are changing war as we know it" angle, and my eyes stumble on this gem of a paragraph. Can somebody put some MILCON in the next budget for a few spare power generators at Creech AFB, for pete's sake?
During "lost link" episodes, when communication with the air crew is broken, the plane circles on a preset course and waits for direction. "We have to find it. It's like hide-and-seek," Dowd said. The week Gersten took command at Creech, a power surge hit the base and he lost contact with several Predators and Reapers over Afghanistan and Iraq. His crews told him this was nothing to worry about, and in fifteen minutes all the planes were back online. Two weeks later, another power surge hit Creech and he lost contact with more Predators and Reapers. Within a half hour, all were found. But systems so technology-dependent will be vulnerable to exploitation, whether through hacking or physical interruption of data -- shooting down a satellite, perhaps, along its round-the-world journey. And in increasingly wired war zones, everyone will be fighting for bandwidth.