Thursday, July 14, 2016

Air Force Selects First Enlisted Airmen for Pilot Training Since WWII

The Air Force has chosen 10 enlisted airmen to begin training as pilots for the first time since World War II.
The airmen were selected as part of a program that will allow them to fly the RQ-4 Global Hawk, an unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions are the most requested by combatant commanders around the world and demand for remotely piloted aircraft, or RPAs, will likely only increase, according to the Air Force.
"In the future, RPAs may act as wingmen to manned aircraft," Capt. Trisha Guillebeau said in an email to The Virginian-Pilot.
The Air Force has not released the identities of the first airmen selected for the program or where they are based.
By 2020, the Air Force wants about 70 percent of day-to-day Global Hawk missions to be flown by about 100 enlisted pilots with leadership positions filled by officers. The Air Force plans to use what it learns flying Global Hawks with enlisted aircrews to inform whether a similar approach is applied to other weapons systems, Guillebeau said.
"It is too soon to speculate on any expansion of enlisted aircrew beyond the RQ-4 program," she said.  more