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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Fresh off graduation, these are the Air Force's first enlisted RPA pilots
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sarmed1
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 898

« on: May 07, 2017, 07:10:11 PM »

Found this interesting AF times article:

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/first-enlisted-rpa-pilots-graduate

The quote from one at the end was pretty interesting, about how the AF should really look into bringing back the Warrant program to keep pilots flying.


MK
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Mark Kleibscheidel
TSgt USAFR
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,805

« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 07:32:12 PM »

The Warrant Officer program will never return because The Chief's Mafia will not allow it.
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abdsp51
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Posts: 2,287
Unit: Classified

« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 09:52:05 PM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,805

« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 11:16:23 PM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.

They've been the Sensor Operators, not the Pilots. These guys are Pilots.
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abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,287
Unit: Classified

« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 12:43:23 AM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.

They've been the Sensor Operators, not the Pilots. These guys are Pilots.

Raven B...  drone flown by enlisted
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,805

« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 01:25:21 AM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.

They've been the Sensor Operators, not the Pilots. These guys are Pilots.

Raven B...  drone flown by enlisted

These guys are going to Predators, Raptors and Global Hawks.
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Tim Medeiros
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 709
Unit: AZ-001

« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 01:27:10 AM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.

They've been the Sensor Operators, not the Pilots. These guys are Pilots.

Raven B...  drone flown by enlisted
Slight difference in scale there.


RQ-11:



RQ-4:




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TIMOTHY R. MEDEIROS, Lt Col, CAP
Member, National IT Functional User Group
1577/2811
Nick
Seasoned Member

Posts: 454
Unit: SWR-TX-001

« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 08:57:29 AM »

These guys are going to Predators, Raptors and Global Hawks.
I thought they're only flying unarmed UAS?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Nicholas McLarty, Lt Col, CAP
Texas Wing Staff Guy
National Cadet Team Guy
abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,287
Unit: Classified

« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 09:04:00 AM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.

They've been the Sensor Operators, not the Pilots. These guys are Pilots.

Raven B...  drone flown by enlisted
Slight difference in scale there.


RQ-11:



RQ-4:


Yup.  But still operated by enlisted and have been since 2006.
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HGjunkie
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,613

« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 06:52:32 PM »

These guys are going to Predators, Raptors and Global Hawks.
I thought they're only flying unarmed UAS?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yep, EPIC is sending them to Global Hawk only.
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retired
C1C USAFA
Starbux
Recruit

Posts: 42
Unit: SWR-NM-030

« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2017, 09:10:54 PM »

AF has had enlisted flying drones for about 9 years now.  Small scale though.

They've been the Sensor Operators, not the Pilots. These guys are Pilots.

Raven B...  drone flown by enlisted

These guys are going to Predators, Raptors and Global Hawks.

I used to fly the MQ-1 which is about to be retired finally.  I don't think they will get into the Reaper for a variety of reasons, one being weapons release authority.  The G-Hawk makes sense, because it really is not a pilot's airplane.  It is virtually all automated, it is essentially a terrestrial satellite.  It takes a flight plan that is loaded prior to takeoff and pretty much does it own thing once out of the terminal environment.  Unlike the General Atomics birds, the RQ-4 does not have any manual controls.  The MQ-1/9 can be flown like a normal airplane with a stick, throttle and rudders.  The RQ-4 has a target deck that it flies a prescribed route to capture a specific product for collection and analysis.  Really, all the pilot can do to alter its path is set an adhoc point for it to go to.  Other than takeoff and landing, these aircraft are way above any airspace that 99% of planes fly in short of the U2.  All the pilot really does with it is monitor its systems and navigation status and troubleshoots any abnormal or emergency procedures.   

So it makes sense to let enlisted crews fly it.  The only skills necessary to fly it are a decent technical background on how to troubleshoot problems and come up with a solution to best recover the aircraft.  That's my take on it.  The AF seems to be loosing people left and right in this career track, so maybe they may let the E's fly the MQ-9 on non-kinetic missions.  Right now the answer for that is to have civilian contractors fly the MQ-9 on pure ISR missions and if a kinetic event were to occur, the contractor will get bounced out of the seat while an officer takes a shot.  Then it will get handed back to the contractor to do post strike BDA. 
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Mustang
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 691

« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 04:36:19 AM »

These guys are going to Predators, Raptors and Global Hawks.

Reapers, not Raptors.
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"Amateurs train until they get it right; Professionals train until they cannot get it wrong. "

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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Fresh off graduation, these are the Air Force's first enlisted RPA pilots
 


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