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UAV (RPA) 2011 Grads


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Guest Zerohour

I received a email about two days ago that the air force is looking for about 55 soon to be LT's and 10 alternates from rotc to begin the new UAV pipeline which will then cease the pulling of pilots out of UPT completion. Its about a 10 month pipeline which includes IFS and 40 hrs of T-6 sim followed by UAV core training. so i ask, any of you non rated folks out there like myself considering this?

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Dude, you're a huge tool.

No need to get your panties in a wad. You could have just answered "Ego" instead of proving it with your unprofessionalism.

False. No one avoids it because of that. Most people are well aware of the great capabilities they bring to the fight, but most pilots are pilots because they love flying. Most avoid it because i

Sure that would be great. Thanks for the heads up! Definitely cutting it close but should be okay should I be chosen. I graduate Dec 15th. =P I wounder if we are eligible to be upgraded between commission and EAD. I'll be waiting around at home until April.

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Guest Zerohour

from what i see, there is only one board because starting next year the UAV's will be a separate category for people applying for pilot, nav abm. So they will just check the box to compete for a UAV slot. and keep in mind AS OF NOW the only 3 bases that they are operating out of for AD, is creech, hollowman and...... cannon.

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I received a email about two days ago that the air force is looking for about 55 soon to be LT's and 10 alternates from rotc to begin the new UAV pipeline which will then cease the pulling of pilots out of UPT completion.

That's what the newest pitch is? lol, tell your UPT bound buddies to not slack off just yet...they will be coming out of everywhere until the manning monster that is the as yet unnamed # of CAPs the Man wants gets satisfied...and that ain't for awhile.

Here is the only "fact" out there about RPA assignemnts...no one that comes and talks to you or sends you an email really knows anything about anything. It's not really their fault, but they don't, casue they don't know what they don't know, ya know?

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Guest Hund Von Krieg

I've got a CSO slot, but I am seriously considering this just to be in while the field's developing still. Its sounds like a safe career move, though I'm sure its a manpower blackhole if you ever want to really fly or something. My Det has a briefing on it next week, I'll make my decision after that since I am also on the Alt list for Pilot.

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Guest superbus

I've been googling the hell out of this topic to find ANY information at all regarding the topic. I've been wanting to get into UAV/RPV/RPA/whatever since starting ROTC.

I got the email from our det NCOIC on 16 Nov and took the TBAS that week. Who all is applying?

I thought 55 was a little low to let in considering all the buzz I've been hearing about how desperately the AF needs RPA pilots...

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I've been googling the hell out of this topic to find ANY information at all regarding the topic. I've been wanting to get into UAV/RPV/RPA/whatever since starting ROTC.

I got the email from our det NCOIC on 16 Nov and took the TBAS that week. Who all is applying?

I thought 55 was a little low to let in considering all the buzz I've been hearing about how desperately the AF needs RPA pilots...

Pipelines only have so many slots to train people a year. Don't give up!

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I've got a CSO slot, but I am seriously considering this just to be in while the field's developing still. Its sounds like a safe career move, though I'm sure its a manpower blackhole if you ever want to really fly or something. My Det has a briefing on it next week, I'll make my decision after that since I am also on the Alt list for Pilot.

Feel free to look into stuff, but be 100% sure you want UAVs before you apply. Like some of the guys here have said and you implied, it's a manning black hole and if you want to actually fly something (i.e. as a nav or pilot) UAVs isn't a good launching platform for that later in life. Good luck on whatever you end up with.

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Guest Zerohour

Feel free to look into stuff, but be 100% sure you want UAVs before you apply. Like some of the guys here have said and you implied, it's a manning black hole and if you want to actually fly something (i.e. as a nav or pilot) UAVs isn't a good launching platform for that later in life. Good luck on whatever you end up with.

i currently am facing this dilemma. I am assigned to be a logistics officer (another black hole career field i hear right now) when i graduate in may. However i still want to fly as i did not get a pilot slot out of rotc. I think though that being associated with some sort of aviation field has a better chance at progressing to a actual flying position then rather having a job that has no association with flying. So i sit here at a dilemma. Do i apply and run the chance of being selected or do i take my pretty nice logistic base assignment and try to apply down the road to UPT.

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i currently am facing this dilemma. I am assigned to be a logistics officer (another black hole career field i hear right now) when i graduate in may. However i still want to fly as i did not get a pilot slot out of rotc. I think though that being associated with some sort of aviation field has a better chance at progressing to a actual flying position then rather having a job that has no association with flying. So i sit here at a dilemma. Do i apply and run the chance of being selected or do i take my pretty nice logistic base assignment and try to apply down the road to UPT.

If you want UPT, then wait and apply at your station. Going 18U isn't going to get you to UPT.

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This was offered to me right before I commissioned and I thought that it seemed like a good idea. I have been working with RPA's and SUAS's for some time now since I did all of my internships at WPAFB in AFRL. RPA's are the wave of the future, but when I started tossing the idea around in my head it didn't seem as good. I asked my COC what he thought and he said if you have hopes of having any air under your a$$ don't go this route. In his opinion, once you are in the RPA career field you will be locked in with little or no chance to fly in a cockpit. Therefore, I opted out of it since I have a rated slot. I think that it is a great career field and it is good to get in while the technology is new, I could see myself doing it in the future, but it just wasn't for me right off the start.

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Guest Zerohour

This was offered to me right before I commissioned and I thought that it seemed like a good idea. I have been working with RPA's and SUAS's for some time now since I did all of my internships at WPAFB in AFRL. RPA's are the wave of the future, but when I started tossing the idea around in my head it didn't seem as good. I asked my COC what he thought and he said if you have hopes of having any air under your a$$ don't go this route. In his opinion, once you are in the RPA career field you will be locked in with little or no chance to fly in a cockpit. Therefore, I opted out of it since I have a rated slot. I think that it is a great career field and it is good to get in while the technology is new, I could see myself doing it in the future, but it just wasn't for me right off the start.

thanks for the insight i have to make my decision in 2 days

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I think that it is a great career field and it is good to get in while the technology is new,

I think you made the right choice..

just curious.. why do you think it's a good career field to get in while the technology is new? I keep hearing people say that but I don't really understand it.

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Guest Zerohour

I think you made the right choice..

just curious.. why do you think it's a good career field to get in while the technology is new? I keep hearing people say that but I don't really understand it.

its the way of the future man, the AD boards are looking for 70+ and rotc is looking for about 65 pilots, i think we will see that within the next 20 to 40 years UAV's will be major contenders on any type of battlefield. I mean look at what they are already capable of.

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its the way of the future man, the AD boards are looking for 70+ and rotc is looking for about 65 pilots, i think we will see that within the next 20 to 40 years UAV's will be major contenders on any type of battlefield. I mean look at what they are already capable of.

Apparently they're doing a good job of pitching the best desk job in the air force. You know what, go for it; that'll hopefully help the people that would like to be flying instead of operating.

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While it's cool in theory to "be in at the ground level," there is associated ass-pain that goes with trying to make sh*t work for the first time and to do that in a combat situation. Pluses and minuses for sure but it's not generally something worth getting stuck in a black-hole career field if you have aspirations of doing other things.

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its the way of the future man, the AD boards are looking for 70+ and rotc is looking for about 65 pilots, i think we will see that within the next 20 to 40 years UAV's will be major contenders on any type of battlefield. I mean look at what they are already capable of.

Ok but how does that help you to be a part of the "wave of the future" people keep talking about it in generalities.. no specifics. Is it going to help you make rank easier than a real pilot? I don't think so

To me it's stupid to try to get into a career field that one day will completely eliminate pilots anyways.

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Guest superbus

Ok but how does that help you to be a part of the "wave of the future" people keep talking about it in generalities.. no specifics. Is it going to help you make rank easier than a real pilot? I don't think so

To me it's stupid to try to get into a career field that one day will completely eliminate pilots anyways.

I'm looking to get into it because of the fact that it is new and how many seem to avoid them because perhaps they feel RPAs are ineffective or inglorious. Granted I don't have any real experience about the AF other than my sanitized ROTC years, but from what I have been able to gauge, this career field looks promising in my eyes and because it's relatively still in its infancy, I'd like to see if there are any prospects where I would be in a position to shape the use of the technology and how the AF uses it... but for now I'd just like a slot.

I can only speak for myself here, but I'm looking to get my job in the AF and do my best in it (cliché, no doubt). If I have to worry about job selection to see how high I can (possibly?) get in rank then perhaps I'll consider leaving the AF.

Even if pilots were to be "completely eliminated" there has to be some sort of stepping stone to that point, I think RPAs are, at the very least, a stepping stone (just as props were the stepping stone to jets), but I see them as an emerging technology whose capabilities aren't realized because pilots are too afraid of losing their jobs and just want RPAs to go away.

It's too bad there has to be such a schism in the AF regarding pilots and their RPA counterparts.

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many seem to avoid them because perhaps they feel RPAs are ineffective or inglorious.

False. No one avoids it because of that. Most people are well aware of the great capabilities they bring to the fight, but most pilots are pilots because they love flying.

Most avoid it because it is not fun, is (usually) mind-numbingly boring, and is not flying.

but I see them as an emerging technology whose capabilities aren't realized because pilots are too afraid of losing their jobs and just want RPAs to go away.

Also false. The people operating UAVs have pushed our current technologies to the limit and are doing a great job; better things are on the way, but no one is limiting what we can do in the fight. The limitation is that what we currently have fielded only goes so far.

It's too bad there has to be such a schism in the AF regarding pilots and their RPA counterparts.

I take it you're talking about the 11X vs 18U divide; the real schism exists only between those who can carry out the mission, and those who cannot. Just as with pilots, there are good UAV operators and there are bad ones. It is actually beneficial for the 18U field to succed, in the eyes of the current pilot, because then less pilots will be pulled to UAV assignments. There are other issues, but it isn't one of caste.

The reality of the situation is this: being an 18U is the best desk job in the Air Force. You are operationally oriented, you affect the war on a daily basis, and then go home at night. If you have no ambition to actually fly in an airplane, it's great. If you think you might have the slightest notion to fly in an airplane, but are worried you might be in UAVs anyway, take a path through pilot training and at least give yourself the 80% chance of flying in an airplane, then do your best. Luck and timing will work the rest out. Either way, no one is out there holding back because they don't like their job.

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Good luck to everyone competing for the board on Dec 6th-11th! I'm crossing my fingers. I hope they are using our most recent PT scores. It's definitely going to be a close one if I get it considering I graduate Dec 15th! =o

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