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UAV (RPA) 2011 Grads


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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.

I am the type of person who thinks 20 years ahead of time. I just commissioned and I am starting flight school and I am already planning on what I am going to do after the military if I stay in 20 years. UAVs aren't going anywhere any time soon. I said it is great to start when the technology is new because it gives you an edge on people who get into the field when it is mature. You have seen where it started and how it grew to where it is in the present day. The opportunities that you will have in the civilian world will be great, and in my opinion you will be very marketable to any company dealing with the technology. You will pretty much be able to write your own ticket.

With that being said, you may wonder why I did not chose this for myself. It's not that I don't want to do it, I have nothing against UAVs having worked with them for the past 4 years, I just want to experience a cockpit first. Eventually, I do see myself flying from a desk, just not from the get go. I think that this career field is great if you are in the group not selected for a rated slot. While you won't be 50k up in the air, you are still doing something that a small percentage of people do everyday, that in itself is cool to me.

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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

I said it is great to start when the technology is new because it gives you an edge on people who get into the field when it is mature. You have seen where it started and how it grew to where it is in the present day. The opportunities that you will have in the civilian world will be great, and in my opinion you will be very marketable to any company dealing with the technology. You will pretty much be able to write your own ticket.

I think you've been drinking too much Koolaid from commanders.

I honestly believe I will be worse off b/c of my UAV experience compared to my peers who stayed in real airplanes. highpaying UAV jobs are out there if you want to deploy to shitholes

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I think you've been drinking too much Koolaid from commanders.

I honestly believe I will be worse off b/c of my UAV experience compared to my peers who stayed in real airplanes. highpaying UAV jobs are out there if you want to deploy to shitholes

No Koolaid brotha! I am not encouraging ppl with a rated positions to go RPA/UAV by any means. Like I said in previous posts, I think that if you go RPA from the start you will remain in RPAs with no chance of actually flying a plan. In my opinion, you are better off going UAV if you are non-rated out of ROTC/Academy/OTS. I would never pass up a rated slot for a UAV that is why I am sitting in a cockpit for now!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest superbus

I emaild cadre and the response I got was, "no we don't know, we will let you know." So idk what's up with that.

I guess the cadre at the detachment here got the list. Apparently my name wasn't on it. Hopefully I'll get picked up as an alternate.

Here were my stats:

GPA: 3.05

AFOQT: Pilot 85, Nav 90

PFA: 88.5

PCSM: 72

Edited by superbus
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My stats are as follows if you wanna try to gauge where you are at. I'm not sure what number I was but maybe it can help you.

PFA:88

PGA: 3.0

AFOQT Pilot: 61

28 flying hours

I was upgraded two days before commission so don't give up either way!

Edited by bdmski
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I was one of the few who were picked up over the summer. I got my butter bar in june and I had a chance to apply for the slot 3 days after that.

PFA:100

GPA: 3.5 (tech)

AFOQT: don't even remember its been so long

0 flying hours

I'm just about to leave for RFS (super 2 month RPA IFS) and my class is only 8 people. We really don't have the facilities in place right now to be training large amounts. I'm sure more space will open up to you hopefuls in the furture.

Most of the guys here have crossed trained from CSO.

Just like all other career fields, we got some hot shots who are going to do great, and we got some slackers who shouldn't be here (couldn't cut it for pilot).

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I said it is great to start when the technology is new because it gives you an edge on people who get into the field when it is mature.

I disagree unless you are a technology maven. If you can inherently "get" new and emerging technologies, intimately understand how they work with no manuals or training, and like to troubleshoot sh*t that's not working right, then by all means you are correct. If you are not that however, it's best not to base your decision off of notions of being on the cutting edge. It's only frustrating. All that being said, preds are a fairly mature technology so it's by the book at this point.

I just want to experience a cockpit first.

So to speak...

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I disagree unless you are a technology maven. If you can inherently "get" new and emerging technologies, intimately understand how they work with no manuals or training, and like to troubleshoot sh*t that's not working right, then by all means you are correct. If you are not that however, it's best not to base your decision off of notions of being on the cutting edge. It's only frustrating. All that being said, preds are a fairly mature technology so it's by the book at this point.

So to speak...

preds are mature but still a terrible design with terrible TOs that will serious flaws never be fixed due to funding limitations

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Col just called me. Got RPA. I'm glad as hell to get out of Force Support, but not sure at the same time since it's pretty certain that I won't ever fly a manned AF a/c. Glad to be in ops though.

Stats:

GPA: 2.6 :banghead:

AFOQT: Pilot 87, Nav 62

PFA: 92.7

PCSM: 94

Hours: 280

Edited by spudsmac
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  • 3 weeks later...

Got RPA as well, Cadre told me right before Christmas as a "holiday present". I would love to have flown real aircraft but this is a great route for those of us who are not medically qualified. For me its the night vision/depth perception. Really excited to get into this career field. I was going to be cyber warfare which was also cool, but now Im stoked.

Stats:

GPA: 3.6

AFOQT: Pilot 79 Nav 77

PCSM: 87

PFA:86

Hours: 0

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Got RPA as well, Cadre told me right before Christmas as a "holiday present". I would love to have flown real aircraft but this is a great route for those of us who are not medically qualified. For me its the night vision/depth perception. Really excited to get into this career field. I was going to be cyber warfare which was also cool, but now Im stoked.

Stats:

GPA: 3.6

AFOQT: Pilot 79 Nav 77

PCSM: 87

PFA:86

Hours: 0

Congrats. Night vision? I don't remember that test, but I do remember the depth perception test where you tell them which circle is closer out of circles 1-5.

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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......

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.

I'd recommend not voicing your opinions until you've got some experience. Right now you sound like an idiot.

Edited by tac airlifter
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Guest ShadyisGay

I'd recommend not voicing your opinions until you've got some experience. Right now you sound like an idiot.

Actually, he's pretty spot on as far as the schism. Why are traditional pilots so anti-RPA? Ego? Childhood dreams? I don't know. It's a large part of the future, so sooner or later they'll have to accept that fact.

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Actually, he's pretty spot on as far as the schism. Why are traditional pilots so anti-RPA? Ego? Childhood dreams? I don't know. It's a large part of the future, so sooner or later they'll have to accept that fact.

I take it you aren't a pilot

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Actually, he's pretty spot on as far as the schism. Why are traditional pilots so anti-RPA? Ego? Childhood dreams? I don't know. It's a large part of the future, so sooner or later they'll have to accept that fact.

He's completely wrong and so are you. And you also sound like an idiot. Most pilots don't want to fly them anymore than a sailor wants to be stuck on land; they still get the job done. And I think the guys actually doing the mission realize it's a "large part of the future." By the way, what experience do you have to back up your statements? I've got 8 years of active duty flying, the last 2 in a role that works frequently with RPA's downrange. I know exactly how operators and users feel, and exactly what they are and are not capable of. And I'm telling you that both you and superbus sounds like ignorant little kids.

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Actually, he's pretty spot on as far as the schism. Why are traditional pilots so anti-RPA? Ego? Childhood dreams? I don't know. It's a large part of the future, so sooner or later they'll have to accept that fact.

There is an entire list of reasons why pilots despise UAVs. Most have nothing to do with ego.

1. Stuck in a box w/o windows on the ground instead of the open skies. (I'm not a fan of all the

psycho-babble, but this does have negative psychological effects)

2. Most dangerous part of the job is the drive to work

3. Pretty much no job satisfaction/pride. It is now just a pay check.

4. Almost no challenge at all in operating the UAV, that's why all the other branches utilize enlisted

(not knocking enlisted, I was one, but it doesn't require much training)

5. Monetary drop in earningsdue to almost zero TDY's, and deploying once every three years. I understand

that we joined for reasons more than just pay. But it is demoralizing when our peers from our

previous/desired mws's are making extra from all the above opportunities.

6. 365 days of the yr for up to 4 yrs + are in a box with no break, no downtime, no real weekends. Only

the scheduled days off, and the little bit of leave that gets approved.

7. All positions in UAV's are now a numbers game, the numbers game was one of the things that I really

hated in the army, and now we're to that.

8. Currently there isn't much in the civilian world for UAV operators. It is basically exactly like

becoming an infantryman that has no real skills that apply to the civilian world except for other

gov't agencies. And those will fill up fast once ADSC are reached beginning later this year.

9. This does not foster any form of the term leadership. It is all management. Our UPT guys are going to

be well behind the power curve when/if they hit the real flight line.

10. Senior AF leadership has no clue of how to take care of the current pilots in UAV's. They claim that

they want breadth in their officers,

11. Pilots have no idea of what their future holds at all, AF leadership has finally come up with a plan

with the Crossflow Board.

12. A good portion of the time UAV's play back of the bus when supporting ops, goes back to lack of job

satisfaction.

13. As the future looks to be pulling away from kinetic wars it will be more ISR centric, "burning holes in

the sky", w/ no reason having a rated officer there for the lack of kinetic possibility.

I understand the importance of UAV's more than most. I was an enlisted infantry paratrooper way back in the day. I am still good friends with almost all of them including the platoon sergeant (SFC Patterson) that was shown in Restrepo. So I have a deeply vested interest that the UAV community does all it can to support the guys on the ground. But I know the manner in which we have organized our UAV manning is completely incorrect and wreaks of fraud, waste and abuse. I won't just complain. It has been discussed before, but I believe the optimum workforce for AF UAV's would be to mirror the Army Aviation manning. The backbone of the operators would be warrant officers and you have your 18U's that provide the "leadership" needed to manage the squadrons. That is a compromise from what I truly believe, instead of WO's it should be enlisted guys operating them.

I have heard it come straight from senior AF leadership's mouth that he does not except the idea of WO's. That comes from a complete ignorance of what it really does entail in operating UAV's.

I suggest that you keep your uninformed opinions to yourself until you are actually operating them.

Now I will say that the 18u's do enjoy the msn. However that comes from a completely different perspective.

AIRBORNE!

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I think there are several reasons to want RPAs for some people. Low/no deployment rate, upcoming technology, some people arent medically qualified for pilot, etc. Does is suck for those guys who wanted to be a pilot and ended up with RPAs, yeah - but show me one person in the military who hasnt taken in up the ass at some point in their career. If you want things your way, go to Burger King, DONT JOIN THE MILITARY!

Hopefully from here on out those who want to be pilots will be given the opportunity, and those who want to fly RPAs will also.

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Low/no deployment rate people still deploying on a regular basis, upcoming technology 16.9 year old technology that they keep making worse

Fixed that for you.

Edited by SurelySerious
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Guest superbus

I'd recommend not voicing your opinions until you've got some experience. Right now you sound like an idiot.

I'm learning, at least. Give me a break.

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