Skip to comments.Drone training now starting with academy cadets
Posted on 10/04/2009 12:28:55 PM PDT by Flavius
Welcome to the 21st century of aerial combat. Cockpits have become cubicles and airborne robots controlled by airmen half a world away are doing the fighting.
It's a future the Air Force Academy is preparing cadets for, even if a lot of them long for the good old days of supersonic aerobatics.
"You talk to a kid who has seen 'Top Gun' 25 times and tell them they're going to fly an unmanned aircraft, they are not going to be happy," said Lt. Col. Dean Bushey, who is leading a class of 12 cadets into the Air Force's new robotic world.
(Excerpt) Read more at xploreutah.net ...
Why use commissioned officers to pilot unmanned aircraft? A well-train warrant officer or enlisted man or woman could do it for less money and leave the officers to command. The worst thing the services did was end the “flying sergeants” and naval aviation equivalent program. The Army still has more warrant officer pilots than commissioned because of the numbers of rotary aircraft required for their mission.
One advantage is that the pilots don’t have to pass the same rigorous physical qualifications.
I was thinking the same thing. For that matter, why not outsource the jobs to civilian contractors? They could hire retired military to fly the drones and save a lot of money.
Why not tell them they're going to get paid to play the world's coolest video game and actually blow up bad guys?
I remember back in the arcade days (80’s), watch a little black girl, about 12yo, whup the F14 simulator game. I mean, she was fricking awesome: take off, destroy everything, land on the carrier, take off again, and repeat. She held the highest score for over a year at that arcade. I hope she went on to become a US fighter pilot.
It's not about competence to fly the planes. It's about control of the weapon systems and what is deemed necessary in terms of training and judgment in order to let someone toggle off a fifty thousand dollar missile at a truck parked between a hospital and a mosque. Given the degree to which senior officers are looking over the pilot's shoulder these days I don't think that objection holds up very well though.
Maybe he could tell them they are at the wrong school. Top Gun is about NAVY pilots.
I wonder if the drone pilots have a 12,000 ft runway like their “real pilot” brethren do? (sorry, I had to get the pro-Navy dig in). When I was younger I used to regret I hadn’t been born at a later date; I was envious of what my successors would get to fly. But now I’m at peace with my experiences because it appears it’s not going to be the same game anymore. There are obvious advantages to drones, namely never ending up a POW or your Mom getting that dreaded visit from the Navy Chaplin. Anyone who has flown into the SAM or AAA envelope would understand that, however I suspect that most who have would agree with me that drones lack the situational awareness we had. Not to mention that few things in life are better than a daily dose of vitamin “G” followed up by an OK-3 wire.
BUMP to read later