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12xu2a3x3

ANG UAV to manned mission change

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Standard assertion that: I looked and decided this merited its own thread, but mods please delete if this is not the consensus.

 

I wanted some opinions on what an ANG unit's conversion back to manned from UAVs might look like. Does big Air Force see these units the same as it does manned units changing missions? That is to say, is a mission change such as this likely even if it's possible? How many UAV units are "future proofing" by sending their studs through full up UPT?

Some initial limiting factors

-change to the original manned aircraft bed down facilities that would prohibit the return of manned aircraft.

-spin up of ops and mx personal given projected future shortages on the ad side

-original issues that lead to loss of manned mission remain, e.g. range too distant

 

It seems like this kind of mission change would probably be less dependent on these factors and more on:

-future demand for UAV assets

-future procurement of F-35, A-X, LAAR, or similar

-local political advocacy

 

looking forward to your thoughts

 

 

 

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I don't see this happening. They can't even come up with a companion aircraft. It doesn't look like NGB is sending any UPT slots to RPA units, at least none that I have seen recently (past yr or so). So, the 11 pool will be shrinking. Plus, there is so much demand and not enough assets now. Can't imagine this changing any time soon either.

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There won't be any of these changes in the foreseaable future.  The demand is too high for RPAs.  Local politicians likely doesn't care what kind of squadron they have, as  long as they've got one.  They might even prefer RPAs since they're less noisy.  Some people just don't appreciate the Sound of Freedom and the sweet smell of JP-8.  As far as facilities changes, you won't see any on the flightline since most units will be RSO only with no need for local aircraft.

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Some people just don't appreciate the Sound of Freedom and the sweet smell of JP-8.  

And those people are called communists.

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On 4/24/2016 at 11:35 AM, 12xu2a3x3 said:

It seems like this kind of mission change would probably be less dependent on these factors and more on:

-local political advocacy

Honestly, I think that's the only way it would ever happen.  If some Governor or Congressman with enough clout wanted a manned mission back, then I could see it happening.  I think the likelihood of it occurring are very low.

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For what it's worth, I know you specifically asked about ANG units, but the reserve squadrons that augment our active squadrons in our ops group at Creech send their new guys to UPT before going through any RPA related training. In fact, a friend of mine in one of those squadrons was picked up by that unit to fly MQ-9s, went to UPT, and then did an MC-12 tour before going to the MQ-9. Not the most desirable manned tour, I get it, but it seems that they still treat their members as actual pilots in some respects with regard to career progression.

But I'll agree with what others are saying in this thread. RPAs are 1) in VERY high demand as I'm sure you're aware and 2) They're cheap and easy for the politicians that advocate for them. RPA infrastructure is a bit of a nightmare, but that's not the politicians problem and all they're going to see is the difference between the hourly operating cost of the RPA compared with the Viper or whatever it was before.

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I'd think that, given the choice, a politician would pull for a manned unit vs. an RPA unit, just due to the number of jobs.  I assume if you go from say, F-16's to Predators, you lose a hell of a lot of jobs (less maintainers, life support, etc).

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I'd think that, given the choice, a politician would pull for a manned unit vs. an RPA unit, just due to the number of jobs.  I assume if you go from say, F-16's to Predators, you lose a hell of a lot of jobs (less maintainers, life support, etc).

But also gain a huge number of intelligence-related jobs. The manpower required to run a CAP is mind blowing.

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The vast majority of states which lost a manned mission to RPA also have another manned flying ANG unit in the state.  The big battle that's a brewing is whether or not a RPA unit sans LRE is deemed an "aeronautical mission" to the airport authorities and the FAA.  The rub(sts) is that ANG (non-LRE) RPA units at non-DOD airports will potentially have to pay fair market value for their land leases($Ms+) vs the current ($1ish) rate.

If the effort to classify this mission as aeronautical doesn't succeed, I think it would be safe to say that ANG units like the example would have heavy support from pols for a manned platform like the MC-12 or Scorpion...

Edited by genie90
cuz i wanted to

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