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Just started reading about this yesterday.... And there's not much out there about it.

Can anyone please shed some light on this field and what's different (if any) from a regular RPA pilot vs AFSOC RPA pilot?

What's the difference in their missions etc?

I read so far that there are 2 Special Ops squadrons currently active with RPAs: the 3rd and 33rd SOS. Both based out of Canon AFB in New Mexico, flying Predators and Reapers.

I'm a civilian RPA select so please excuse my lack of info....

What are the pros/cons to being AFSOC RPA pilot?

How do you get in?

Is day to day life any different?

Any incentives?

I was interested in AFSOC (enlisted) after not getting selected for OTS my first time around so please tell me more!

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My uneducated guess would be that your actual job (as an RPA driver) would be the exact same, you would just be working with/for different users within Big Blue or AFSOC

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My uneducated guess would be that your actual job (as an RPA driver) would be the exact same, you would just be working with/for different users within Big Blue or AFSOC

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Yeah, pretty much the same. Many of the ACC sqs end up supporting the same customers so the differences blur even more. AFSOC just has a location with a reputation for poor quality of life.

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Concur there's no difference except your morale is lower in AFSOC.

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Again I'm coming in as a civilian so can you please elaborate on why morale would be lower?

I would have thought being part of a "core group" like that would boost morale?

And how is quality of life differnt from any other base?

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Again I'm coming in as a civilian so can you please elaborate on why morale would be lower?

I would have thought being part of a "core group" like that would boost morale?

And how is quality of life differnt from any other base?

Every squadron is a "core group." It may only cover up so many things about location, the AFSOC problem. Everyone sees it differently. I would not take Cannon over any of the ACC bases because the RPA mission doesn't change that much from ACC to AFSOC in a way that I view as beneficial; AFSOC focus is typically counter terror/COIN vs major conflict, even though both ACC and AFSOC both end up doing the CT/COIN because of AFG.

Edited by SurelySerious

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So of it's really that bad Do they offer any incentives to go AFSOC?

There's obviously people doing it, so is it voluntary only or is it possible to end up there against your wishes?

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So of it's really that bad Do they offer any incentives to go AFSOC?

There's obviously people doing it, so is it voluntary only or is it possible to end up there against your wishes?

There are many opportunities in the Air Force to do things that are against your wishes. Just part of "serving."

If you like Clovis, NM then that could be a big incentive to go AFSOC. Or you just don't want to drive 90 minutes to/from work everyday in Vegas.

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To throw some updates out there.

AFSOC RPA bases are Canon AFB in Clovis NM and Hurlburt in Florida.

The Canon folks are varying from 8-12 hour days.

AFSOC means a different type of secrecy, software, hardware, and tactics.

ACC can go to AFSOC, but I haven't heard of AFSOC to ACC.

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18 hours ago, MONTItheRed said:

To throw some updates out there.

AFSOC RPA bases are Canon AFB in Clovis NM and Hurlburt in Florida.

The Canon folks are varying from 8-12 hour days.

AFSOC means a different type of secrecy, software, hardware, and tactics.

ACC can go to AFSOC, but I haven't heard of AFSOC to ACC.

Your update is out of date. I know several of AFSOC bros going to ACC, as recently as last week. I won't get into the rest of your post because of OPSEC reasons but your are not correct. I will say AFSOC trains to a higher standard and handles some mission sets that ACC does less frequently. 

 

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2 hours ago, viper154 said:

AFSOC trains to a higher standard and handles some mission sets that ACC does less frequently. 

That depends on the unit.

 

2 hours ago, viper154 said:

Your update is out of date.

Like I said, I hadn't heard of AFSOC to ACC, now I have, thank you.

2 hours ago, viper154 said:

your are not correct

Your sources say one thing, my experience says another.

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1 hour ago, MONTItheRed said:

That depends on the unit.

 

Like I said, I hadn't heard of AFSOC to ACC, now I have, thank you.

Your sources say one thing, my experience says another.

Well this is kind of awkward, because I am my source, so that would leave me to believe you have minimal expierence. I've  een at Cannon for some time. The fact that you haven't heard of AFSOC to ACC proves your a new guy, PCSs to ACC bases happen regularly and it's common knowledge, those of that have been here can name numerous friends that have left for ACC. 

Let's not start the squadron vs squadron  dick dance. Be part of the solution and not the problem and stop the shit talk/bitterness between the squadrons. I've flown for several of the ops squadrons and all of them train  to equally high standards in their respective mission set, and have their fair share of shit hot fliers and bad apples. (I am being vague here for a reason, I have 0 desire to get any more specific about details on this forum, reguardless of what you can find open source) 

I am glad someone is trying to spread some knowledge on here about AFSOC RPAs, but the appearance you give when you spread bad info that is common knowledge among the line dogs is that you are new MQT student that knows nothing about what he/she is talking about. Get some time and expierence under your belt before you start passing info. Just trying to help you out man, being a irognant new guy that thinks he knows more than he does is not going to work out well for you here and more importantly in your job. 

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10 hours ago, viper154 said:

have minimal expierence. I've  een at Cannon for some time

I doubt you'd be able to find many active duty with as much experience as I. If you want to continue the epeen you can pm me.

10 hours ago, viper154 said:

stop the shit talk/bitterness between the squadrons

Not shit talking, just pointing out that different units train to different standards in different tactics in different mission sets due to different AORs etc. Heck, unit mission sets change over time.

 

10 hours ago, viper154 said:

equally high standards in their respective mission set,

Correct. But not all train to the same standards in similar mission sets.

 

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7 hours ago, MONTItheRed said:

I doubt you'd be able to find many active duty with as much experience as I.

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On 10/29/2014 at 0:02 AM, tervanun said:

Again I'm coming in as a civilian so can you please elaborate on why morale would be lower?

I would have thought being part of a "core group" like that would boost morale?

 

And how is quality of life differnt from any other base?

Lemme educate you, Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF), your attitude is not welcome in my Air Force.  There is also a reason the info isn't out there, you're not allowed to know it.

The Air Force treats the RPA's as a red headed stepchild, a lot of people there do not want to be there.  The Air Force also uses RPA's assignments as a punishment.  Would you rather be an F-22 pilot or RPA guy?  I know most peoples answer.  Unless they are a SpecOps AFSOC RPA fighter pilot.

Edited by matmacwc
  • Upvote 1

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