- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2019

House Armed Services Committee members are calling upon the Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command to join forces in the development of a new fleet of attack aircraft.

The lawmakers want the air service and command officials to provide further details on the progress toward a new generation of smaller, more adaptable cargo, reconnaissance and attack planes — specifically designed to support missions against terror groups such as al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Pentagon officials have grappled with civilian casualty issues during U.S. and allies airstrikes against terror targets. The new planes are designed in part to minimize civilian casualties.

The language will be included in the House defense committee’s version of the Pentagon’s FY2020 budget request.

The Air Force is the current lead on the programs, dubbed the Light Mobility Aircraft and Light Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft. But given the majority of U.S counterterrorism missions are executed by Special Operations Command, House panel members want both services to weigh in on the program.

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