By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Oct 10, 2009 9:13:12 EDT
Airmen will receive flight pay for the first time without ever leaving the ground.
The extra cash will go with the new unmanned aerial vehicle pilot career field approved Sept 29 by Air Force leaders at an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance summit in Washington.
Leaders also approved a career field for sensor operators, though officials are still working out the details to allow these airmen to receive flight pay.
Both UAV pilots and sensor operators, though, will receive wings for their uniforms similar to those worn by manned pilots and aircrew members.
The career fields, the incentive packages, the wings are all part of the Air Force’s ongoing shift to an unmanned fleet by 2047.
UAV pilots will receive the “18X” Air Force Specialty Code. It will be a “rated” career field and require airmen to serve a six-year active-duty service commitment.
Air Force officials have not settled on a name for the career field. Officials do not want “unmanned” in the name because Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said the career field is anything but unmanned.
Sensor operators, enlisted airmen who sit next to the pilots and direct the sensors, will receive the “1U” AFSC, which will be a subcategory of Career Enlisted Aviators. It will require a three-year active-duty service commitment.
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I am so glad I receive flight pay to deal with a 40+ year old airplane, preform emergency ground egresses on a regular basis, have a high potential to get shot at, spend months away from home, etc. That flight pay is nice, and makes it all worth it. Wait... You're going to give NON-RATED Pred drivers WHAT?!?!?!?!?