Today, only experienced Air Force pilots are allowed to remotely-operate the American fleet of killer drones. Tomorrow, the heavily-armed robotic planes could be flown by 19 year-olds, barely out of basic training.
The Army and Marine Corps use Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to spy on suspected militants. Not only are they smaller, cheaper, lighter, and lower-flying than the Air Force’s array of missile-laden Predator and Reaper drones. But Shadows are considered a “tactical assets,” meant to watch over relatively small patches of ground, for relatively small units. Predators, on the other hand, are “theater” or “operational-level” assets — controlled by generals, and sent all over.