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A few broad UAV questions for anybody out there in the know:

1. If you get a UAV assignment to Creech, are you considered stationed at Nellis and TDY to Creech when you work?

2. How often are UAV dudes deploying now a days?

3. Bottom line family QOL....Predators or G Hawks and to what location?

Thanks

1. No, but you do get "My ACC vag hurts and I don't mind a little Fraud, Waste and Abuse $$" every month at Creech. (Around $300, I think)

2. The only flyers that deploy less than us are F-15 guys at Kadena....or folks in AETC units.

3. GH is just one location, so if you like Beale, you are gtg. Preds(Reapers more now, really), you are 90% headed to Vegas, but if you are lucky, you will come to Cannon.

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Looking for some help. Been searching/reading forever but can't find the post a while back linking to some new ISR capes our UAVs are getting/fielding. For the life of me I can't remember the call

The ACC A3 gave talks on Sunday and on Monday at Creech saying that all UPT guys that got UAVs out of UPT will have a manned cockpit waiting for them at the end of their first assignment. With the cu

So this must be good news for the RPA community.  Finally a decent AD location.  http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Tyndall-to-house-new-MQ-9-Reaper-Wing-460607493.html  

There's a separate qual for T/O and landing.

Can you elaborate on this, Boxhead?

Is it really a separate qual, and if it is, is it one of those that everyone winds up getting anyway once they get to their unit? Kind of like NVG Assault qual for new co's in the Herk (PM duties)... You don't leave the schoolhouse qualified, but you open/complete a training folder once you get to your unit.

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Can you elaborate on this, Boxhead?

Is it really a separate qual, and if it is, is it one of those that everyone winds up getting anyway once they get to their unit? Kind of like NVG Assault qual for new co's in the Herk (PM duties)... You don't leave the schoolhouse qualified, but you open/complete a training folder once you get to your unit.

True statement. You leave the school house mission qualled...then when it comes your turn to deploy, you go get the launch and recovery qual. Things are changing on that in AFSOC community here soon, but that is for the other forum..

As for the dude worried about autopilot...I used the autopilot just as much in the Herc as I do in the Pred. The C-17 guys use it less in the Pred than they did in their old plane!

FC1 just makes sense. For the types of reasons Slacker stated and a host of others...now granted, I don't go DNIF if I have a stuffed up nose...no real problem with altitude change issues.

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  • 4 months later...

Guess this tread will do since this story doesn't exactly fit anywhere but is Pred related...

Back to Basics by Captain David Blair

“... That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” That was how it went. There was not an exception for ‘achieving childhood dreams,’ nor an exclusion for ‘as long as leadership has a coherent plan,’ nor a caveat for ‘as long as you’re still doing what you signed up for.’ After serving for the better part of a decade, perhaps I began to take my original oath somewhat for granted; perhaps I lost some of my focus on the reasons that first guided me to military service. I was comfortable, happy and proud serving as an AC-130 pilot, deploying several times a year to keep good guys safe and to take the fight to the enemy. That experience was one of the greatest privileges of my life, but it took a “needs-of-the-Air-Force” move to bring me back to the basics of duty, honor and service. I do not believe that I was alone in that mindset, nor do I believe that my story is unique. It is for exactly that reason that I believe my story may be worth the retelling.

Two years ago, in the middle of my third deployment in the right seat of an AC-130, I felt the world was more or less in order. I loved the Gunship, its mission and the community, I enjoyed the self-satisfaction that I was contributing to the fight; truly, I was living out a childhood dream of flying CAS (close air support) missions in combat as a Special Operations aviator. Like so many of my comrades, I believed in what I was doing and consequently poured my passions into learning the aircraft and the mission. I believed those efforts were finally resulting in a deep understanding of the weapon system. On the home front, I had just finished re-modeling my house, a three-year and $10K project. The West Florida housing market had already crashed, but no matter, because I was very much under the impression that I was going to be in Gunships and at Hurlburt Field for quite some time. I confidently assumed things were stable and secure… perhaps I had forgotten that the one constant in the fog and friction of warfare is that there are no constants.

I found out I was transferring to the Predator mission right before a step brief for a combat mission, in the form of a post-it note. There was no preferences worksheet, no input, and, being downrange, no ability to make a case one way or another. I think the conversation went something along the lines of, ‘we had to give them a name, and it was you. Sorry.’ Honestly, I was not exactly delighted about this turn of events. Being moved right before I could upgrade to Aircraft Commander effectively closed off the option of coming back, at least for the foreseeable future; being moved from a collapsed housing market into a BRAC-inflated speculators’ market brought a new flavor to what had previously seemed prudent financial arrangements. Any plans I had made to that point were pretty much OBE (overcome by events). There are, however, two sides to that coin: not to be melodramatic, but when you find yourself on Sun Tzu’s “death ground,” in a position where you either press the attack or give up, things suddenly become much simpler. Moreover, sometimes when you fight through the ‘death ground,’ you find some blessings that you never expected on the other side.

So it was strange how, in the wreckage of plans, you find valuable things long forgotten rising to the surface like flotsam. I don’t think that I had seriously considered my reasons for joining the military for quite some time. True, I wanted to be a pilot. And I wanted to be part of a tactical culture. And I certainly didn’t mind living in Florida. Ultimately, though, none of those were a calling, for a calling must be about something higher than yourself. Being a warrior is a calling. Flying airplanes is a job. I love flying with all of my heart, and I am thankful that I can fly, fight and win our nation’s wars as an Air Force pilot. Nonetheless, the warrior spirit must trump our pride in our platforms; warriors serve where they are needed, not necessarily where they would prefer.

With that in mind, I decided I would become the best Predator pilot I could possibly be. I decided I would join the community of UAS crewmembers with my head held high, and together we would take that airplane and use it to bring American kids home and send terrorists away for good. I decided I would spend my time and effort making Al-Qaeda hate me, rather than concerning myself with whether or not the arbiters of pilot culture liked me. Between being cool and winning this war, I’ll choose winning this war.

That was the attitude I took into day one, and one that has served me well since. I take great pride in my fellow Pred professionals and our combat missions that deny the terrorists safe haven night after night. I am even prouder to stand with my new teammates to watch over brave Americans on the ground. I still miss the feeling of being airborne, the sound of the howitzer firing, the adrenaline of actually being physically present for a fire mission. But I have come to see the Pred mission as an equally important compliment to the AC-130 mission—our continuing joint endeavor to ensure that one more American hero makes it home safely and that one more Al-Qaeda murderer does not. I am proud to serve toward that end alongside my manned aircraft brethren.

I won’t sugar coat it, though: the Pred life is tough. Our choices in bases aren’t exactly great, our career path isn’t exactly well defined, our hours are long and our extrinsic rewards are virtually non-existent. We have a long way to go as a service before we achieve sustainability for the Predator community. All of that said, none of it changes the ground truths of duty, honor or country. I imagine that many a sailor in the opening bouts of World War Two lamented the strategic choices that left the battleships of the Pacific Fleet at the bottom of Pearl Harbor and left them facing an enemy who had made wiser choices concerning the future of warfare. The indelible legacy of those choices could not be undone, but the lack of planning for December 7th meant that we had to fight all the harder on December 8th and every day after. The Predator community, too, lives in the legacy of choices that cannot be undone. We are paying for those choices. But someone has to, and if that is the only road to victory, then so be it.

I wonder if my story isn’t in some way a microcosm of the Air Force’s journey of the last few years. We had a largely fixed way of viewing the world, our mission and ourselves. We were, in effect, comfortable with our role. But war does not abide comfort. I do not presume to interject myself into discussions about strategic risk, the number of air supremacy fighters, and the like. But I do know that war changed around us. Some hold that by focusing on the present war, we are becoming ill-equipped for future wars. I would point out that the strategic geniuses on both sides of the quite-conventional American Civil War were forged in the fires of the counterinsurgency actions of the American West. Remember that Red Flag itself was borne out of our experiences in Viet Nam, an unconventional war if there ever was one. I believe that by engaging fully in this war, we forge ourselves for both present and future wars, for combat itself is the truest seedbed for future combat leaders. We cannot expect war to meet us on our terms. War has found us… will we ride out to meet it, or will we opt out?

I can only speak for myself and my own situation, but insofar as I am able, and as long as I am bound to my oath, energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. If I can best meet them via satellite, then all the better… so long as I can provide our strikers the intel they need to meet those enemies in person. This is my war. I will do all I can to win it. If that happens to be inside a cargo container parked on a concrete slab in the middle of New Mexico, then so be it. I am proud to serve.

Captain David Blair is an MQ-1 Predator Aircraft Commander. Prior to his current assignment, Captain Blair served as an AC-130 Pilot, flying more than 100 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He flew his first combat Predator mission in May 2009. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 2002. In 2004, he graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a Master’s degree in Public Policy. He has written extensively on military strategy and public diplomacy. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and may not reflect the views and policies of the US Air Force or the Department of Defense.

2 things. First, this dude got one hell of a deal...zoo to Harvard (while probably getting LT pay), then UPT to gunship. That's enough good deals for like 5 average people...

Second, this guy seems to have the right freaking attitude. Honestly, if I was him, I would have probable been bitter as hell since his situation in FL was pretty well sewn up in a very favorable way. Anyways, :salut: and keep flying those preds with a vengance!

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Stupid question, but when and why did "UAV" become "UAS"?

Not sure when it happened exactly but to me it was kind of a queepy-linguistic change. A UAV is a vehicle, like something operated by a human being. UAS includes "system" which encompasses the satellite link that makes communication possible, the intel systems that are strapped on board, the "system" of shoe clerks who now feel part of the fight, etc. We fight in a "system of systems" and someone got another star by inventing another system out of what used to be a vehicle.

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I am one of the active duty guys in the second Beta test.

All of the active duty picks graduated IFS (4 Captains).

I have talked to some of the active duty officers who were not selected...and I have spoken to all of the selectees. It seems like the board specifically avoided picking officers who already had their PPL or who had a lot of private hours. This put the average UAS Beta Test #2 trainee below the average experience level for pilots attending IFS (who mostly seemed to have at least a few private hours).

Despite this difference in starting experience, only one Beta trainee was eliminated for poor performance.

At IFS, we were visited by a GO from AETC who told us the first Beta test had gone very well and that he was confident a new UAS Operator career field would be started soon. He expected the UAS Operators to be considered "rated" officers, since as he put it, they will earn an instrument rating during training. If that holds true, it might clear up some of the legal problems brought up in this thread.

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Guest whyme?

Here is the bad thing for the new ( 17x?) guys. Your chances at command type stuff is very limited for the next few years (read 10-20) Its going to be a remote piloted career. IE Pred to the schoolhouse to a staff job to a reaper. Or pred, GH, staff-reaper So you will get to remotely pilot (getting the hint, do NOT call it unmmanned LOL) every system there is. I wouldn't plan getting out of the career field so you will be fighting against the manned platform remote qualed guys for jobs. Plan is 80/20 remote pilots/previous manned, in the career field. That is the same thing I have heard for 4 years.

How to get there hasnt really changed either. Its the "get off your ass and do it" that has been the hang up. Like I said 2 years ago, the FAA requires a PPL to remotely pilot a UAV. The USAF in its infinite wisdom has been fighting a $$$$$ war with the army and the rest of us are casualties of the "bigger picture" which is, rank, money for systems, and DoD prestige. Each service wants $$ and to be the goto for the DoD. Those involved want to make sure they ride those coattails. The rest of us just spin up to "ALL IN" then stand down, surge constantly, and basically get raped so the pointy nose guys get a sweet deal when their new jets show up.

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The latest and greatest suggested change, Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV)........ and leadership is under the impression that they are operated by "heavily motivated" operators. One more lie that perpetuates the pain for those of us operating the "line."

Its all about creating a public perception. In the 70s and earlier, they were RPVs (the old AQM-34 Firebee Recce drones). In the 90s, the newer technology was very different and the proponants wanted to differentiate them so they created the term UAV. About five years ago they went to UAS to help promote the concept as an entire system, not just an aircraft. Lately, the fear of the independent-minded killer drone bothers people, so I think they're trying to reinforce that there is still a man in the loop, so we're back to RPV!

As for a "motivated force", it depends on your perception. I know some of the UAV guys and they are very motivated. On the other hand, some aren't. But I can say the same about AETC instructors and C-5 pilots. Even a few of my U-2 brethren were, in my opinion, somewhat less than fully motivated a few years ago.

Edited by HiFlyer
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Guest Marathon

Its all about creating a public perception. In the 70s and earlier, they were RPVs (the old AGM-34 Firebee Recce drones)...

.....

As for a "motivated force", it depends on your perception. I know some of the UAV guys and they are very motivated. On the other hand, some aren't.

Excellent memory! Don't forget the proud heritage for UAS jocks. Remember the first American "Ace" of Vietnam? It wasn't USN Lt. Randy Cunningham in May '72. Technically, it was our good friend the AQM-34L Firebee in '71 credited with the loss of 5 Mig 21s using the Topper Harley 'Hot Shots' method of Air Superiority. Feel free to check out an excellent military history article by Tom Cooper for the Air Combat Information Group. Very entertaining.

Headless Fighters: USAF Recconnaissance-UAVs over Vietnam

I'm also one of the UAS Beta #2 picks. The 9 of us just started instrument quals. This is one fast train!

- "Heavily motivated" soon to be UAS operator jock

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Well it looks like your crying days may be coming to an end. Best thank your CoSAF on his decision to use non rated officers. Hate to have rated officers crying over their non flying billet fighting the war effort. I thought in officer training, you were taught officer first and pilot second. I'm old school, they must have changed their order of importance. Must keep the LTs happy. See below.

I'm not in UAV's and hopefully won't be but I feel those folks pain. The Air Force made a deal with each of us when we signed our paper work for the 10 year commitment. You let me fly airplanes and I'll be in for 10 years. We all know staff tours and other jobs might take us out of the jet temporarily, but it is borderline unethical to have someone sign on for 10 years and the USAF say just kidding, no cockpit for you...ever. Now for those who started pilot training realizing that UAV's were a possibility, I'm with you. But for those who were flying before UAV's were in such high demand I say it just ain't right. Officer first, pilot second is totally understandable in these regards if we had the standard 4 year commitment. Ask how many people with sign up for 10 years as a UAV operator. Don't think you'll get much response.

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Guest Apollo29

I'm one of the UPT direct LT's who got the pred after I was told to my face by my assignment officer that there was no chance of them being dropped to us. As far as the service before self officer first thing goes...I totally agree. There are always things that we will be asked to do that we don't want to do. And it has its perks. I get to do a real mission, I have weapons, I live in Vegas and I work 5 days on and have a 3 day weekend every week. That being said I would give my left nut to be back in the cockpit of ANY aircraft right now. I have absolutely zero problem doing this thing as long as it's for the 3 years they've told us it will be for...which is why I try to show up to work with the best attitude I can...even when there's so much uncertainty and negativity about our future. But I personally think that for them to take 10 years of my life away for this is BS...even with the whole service before self argument. I signed up with the understanding that if I completed pilot training I would get to fly a REAL aircraft. Halfway through UPT that deal was changed. So every day I go to work with the hope that the Chief of Staff will keep his promise to all us LT's that we will be back in 3 years. And I think that if that promise can't be kept then our core value of Integrity First needs to be revisited. Hopefully the Air Force has enough integrity to keep its promise. But as you can see by my first statement I've been mislead before. 3 years is one thing. 10 years is a bit different. If any of you old heads want to give me a BVR bitch slap for being so selfish its open season.

Edited by Apollo29
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Porkchop, put the helmet and g-suit back in the closet! Shack on the 10yr finance commitment line.

Apollo, good points all around. The deal did change halfway through and I don't think anyone will fault you in the least bit for being a little upset. Matter of fact, the first UAV to drop to UPT was in early October (09-01) if I remember correctly, so everyone thus far who has gotten a UAS has seen the deal changed while they were in UPT. However, come next month there will be no excuse. The writing is on the wall and everyone who joins to be a pilot knows what it ahead. Good on you though for keeping a good attitude and coming to work ready to kick butt and take it to the Taliban. I'm sure the 18 year old Marine is extremely happy to have your armed overwatch capability and know about the ambush around the corner. It's tough for us all to accept, but he does not care about our childhood dreams to fly *insert airframe* , he cares about making it home to his family and you guys are doing your part to make that happen. Thank you.

Integrity first.....hmmm, ya....about that? Have you seen our OPR process? What about the new PT test being done by the HAWC and not our bros? Jill Metzger? Let's not get started on some of our leadership and the drug deals that they try to pull down for themselves and their bros. We'd be here all day if I continued. BL- The current plan is not sustainable for UAVs. At least sweeten the deal and put GCS's in Hawaii, Travis, Charleston, or other desirable locations. Airspace is only a factor for launch and recovery to my knowledge. What about ACE with a bunch of T-6's? Worked in the 80's for SAC pilots who only sat alert and still works for U-2 and B-2 drivers? Too expensive? Authorize $500/mo to be used at the local aero club for instrument and other flying currencies. Let's hope this non rated thing pans out, but the JTAC on the ground needs a known quantity and this may or may not be the answer. However, incentivizing the career field will galvanize our ISR capability, as opposed to dudes counting down the days until their ADSC is up which will only diminish our ability to prosecute the war and leave the 18 y/o without the support he needs.

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And I think that if that promise can't be kept then our core value of Integrity First needs to be revisited. Hopefully the Air Force has enough integrity to keep its promise. But as you can see by my first statement I've been mislead before. 3 years is one thing.

First off, like the others have said, good on you for having a good attitude and working hard--this will be key to much of the success you'll have in your career.

However, as for 'Integrity First'--that is a core value for those of us in the Air Force, but not for the Air Force itself. The Air Force goes back on their 'promises' or commitments ALL the time. The Air Force, like the other services, is a huge bureaucracy. It is ultimately politically run and thus changes quite often. Big Blue often goes back on what they have originally said at one time or another.

The Air Force only has one value--and that is 'Needs of the Air Force' to accomplish the mission as dictated by the senior and civilian leadership, and everything that is done afterwards is done to ultimately support that cause. Why do you think AFPC has such a horrible reputation? They say one thing and then do another. Here's a recent article perfectly explaining my point:

Airmen face just 6 month between deployments

So, not to be negative, but realistic, IMHO the majority of the guys straight out of UPT to UAV's will never see the inside of a cockpit. Perhaps the new guys graduating from UPT in a few years will have a different story if this new UAV career path goes 100% but you current guys and the ones in the next couple of years will be too far along. Feel like you got hosed?--not disagreeing at all, but that's life, and especially life in the military--some just get it worse than others.

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When a dude gets pulled from a cockpit and sent to a UAV, it's not the "Air Force." There's certain leadership within the assignment system that made a decision about how to affect manning in UAV's, plain and simple. They're the ones that are accountable, if not culpable.

Dude, if you don't think that the Air Staff and Gen Swartz had a lot to do with the final decision of taking guys directly out of UPT to go UAV's I think you were asleep most of late last summer/early fall. There's a reason this happened after our previous Chief of Staff and Secretary got fired. Grant it, AFPC/Manpower/Plans crank out the numbers (in terms of option A vs B, etc) , but this final decision was made at the higher level. Found the article below:

USAF UPT grads to start careers flying UAVs: Nonrated officers will begin training in January

By MICHAEL HOFFMAN

September 17, 2008

Three hundred pilots fresh out of undergraduate pilot training will ship off to Creech Air Force Base, Nev., over the next three years for their first assignments — as Predator and Reaper pilots.

The temporary surge of UPT pilots — 100 a year — will start immediately.

Plucking pilots straight from UPT to fly unmanned aerial vehicles is only the first part of a new plan to fill the rapidly growing need for UAV pilots.

The second part, which Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz announced Sept. 16 at the Air Force Association conference in Washington, D.C., includes creating a new UAV pilot career track.

The new career track will kick-start this January with a test group of ten officers who will go through a course designed to train the officers who will have no previous flying experience to pilot a UAV.

The testing phase will end after a second group of ten officers complete the training in January 2010, at which point the Air Force will decide if its new pipeline is capable of supplying the next generation of UAV pilots.

As for the first part, officials decided to pick pilots straight from UPT after internal reports showed too many experienced pilots were being tapped to fly drones, creating a gap in the availability of experienced pilots for manned aircraft, said Brig. Gen. Lyn D. Sherlock, director of air operations for operations, plans and requirements at the Pentagon.

“We are hitting a point right now that we are getting an imbalance of experienced pilots in our operational units with the young pilots that are coming in,” she said.

Sherlock said UAV pilots selected out of UPT will serve only one tour — which will last three to four years — at Creech.

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Guest Apollo29

So, not to be negative, but realistic, IMHO the majority of the guys straight out of UPT to UAV's will never see the inside of a cockpit.

Ok that statement very well might turn out to be true some day and I know you're just trying to be realistic. So what do you expect me to do? Throw in the towel? Say screw it. I'm stuck here I might as well give up? Yeah F that. The truth of the matter is that no one knows what it's going to be like in 3 years. All I know is that I have a promise from the Chief of Staff himself that I will go back. Now that might turn out to be an empty promise but it's at least something. I'm frankly tired of people telling us that they think we're not going to go back. Well that's great that you "think" that but you really don't know...just like everybody else. All statements like that do is to destroy our morale. I realize life ain't all fairies and puppy dog tails and if the Air Force ultimately decides that I'm forced to stay flying preds so be it. But just because that's a possibility doesn't mean I'm not going to spend every day fighting to do whatever it takes to get back in a cockpit.

And thanks to everybody for the appreciation. That at least means something.

Edited by Apollo29
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All I know is that I have a promise from the Chief of Staff himself that I will go back. Now that might turn out to be an empty promise but it's at least something. I'm frankly tired of people telling us that they think we're not going to go back. Well that's great that you "think" that but you really don't know...just like everybody else. All statements like that do is to destroy our morale.

I know you haven't been in long, but let me bring us all back to about 4-5 years ago when the then Chief of Staff (Gen Jumper) masked master's degrees for the promotion board because he said something to the effect 'I want people to focus on their jobs and their PME...and if the Air Force wants you to have a masters degree, then we'll send you away to get one'. What happened when he left and Gen Mosely took over? That's right--masters degrees became unmasked again and Captains/Majors were scrambling to get their masters done it time before their boards (the new rule went into affect 2 years later to give guys enough time to knock out a masters to be competitive). See what I'm getting at here? Things change, 'promises' are broken for whatever reason, and that's just the way things go. Did you even happen to read what they're doing to guys returning from 365's? They were 'promised' a year of no deploying and it was just recently announced that due to manning, 6 months will now be the minimum time off. The sooner you realize that these things happen, the sooner you can spit the koolaid back out and just focus on your job as an officer/pilot and put in for what you want to do later.

As for your 'morale', hey, what can I say man--you guys got something you didn't want, sorry. This happens to guys (officers and enlisted) all the time. What makes you guys so darn special? The Air Force needs you to fly UAV's. That might turn out to be your only aircraft, and if so, just the way it is. Your job is to do the best in your position, whatever/wherever that may be, and if after your ADSC is up if you want to get out, then that is your right and I'll say to you what I say to anyone who has served 'God bless you, and thank you for your service'.

Ok that statement very well might turn out to be true some day and I know you're just trying to be realistic. So what do you expect me to do? Throw in the towel? Say screw it. I'm stuck here I might as well give up? Yeah F that. The truth of the matter is that no one knows what it's going to be like in 3 years.

I agree--always fight for what you want, regardless of what it is. If you or anyone else can make a drug deal/work the system, I say go for it! I'm happy for people when they work hard and get what they want. Just don't think the Air Force 'owes' you any anything, especially anything more than they owe others who have taken jobs they didn't particularly want. I volunteered for a 365 and was told that we would get our first choice location/follow-on's when we got back--guess what?--didn't happen. Needs of the Air Force trumped my desires. It's cool to bitch for a while to your friends and family, but after a while it gets old, trust me.

My old man gave me some awesome advice years ago when something didn't work out they way I had planned and what he told me is 'You can't plan out your entire life and expect it to go that way. All you can do is perform your best in whatever situation you're in and good things will happen'. What a wise man my father is.

Be the best UAV pilot you can be and good things will happen to you--whether it's getting back into a cockpit or some other path God has chosen for you in life.

Edited for clarity.

Edited by HeloDude
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does anyone heard anything if they will be changing the physical standards for the future 18x/UAS only pilots?

They must pass a modified Class III.

There is something called AFI48-123_AFGM1, entitled, "Medical Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Pilot Duties," from Oct 08. It is very detailed and technical. I have a copy if anyone wants it.

Edited by Radio
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I have a question for any pilots on assignment flying UAV's right after graduating UPT.

My question is, are those pilots still logging flying hours and remaining current?

Sorry if this question has been asked and answered already but, I have not come across it any where.

My thoughts are that these pilots to stay current are still regularly flying in what ever capacity there last training aircraft i.e. T1's or T-38's??

This being so that after the 3 or 4 year commitment flying UAV's there are still current in the cockpit???

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They do log UAV hours, but since there isn't a companion trainer of some sort (yet??), they're not going to be current in any airframe. However, that's not the same as "they're not pilots anymore" or something along those lines. If they go back to an aircraft, they'll just get re-qualed in it like they would if they had gone to a non-flying staff tour for 3 yrs.

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they're not going to be current in any airframe.

Except, of course, the airframe we are already current on.

If they go back to an aircraft, they'll just get re-qualed in it like they would if they had gone to a non-flying staff tour for 3 yrs.

Or, just like a C-130 person going to a C-17 after a few years, they get qualified on a new airframe.

I even take my IRC every year, and CRM, and have a 1042, and graduated SUPT ...holy sh!t, I'm a pilot.

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  • 1 month later...

Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere in the thread...

Boxhead (or any other UAV pilots)...can you walk me through a day/week/month "in the life of"? I saw Boxhead's "I drive to work, kill bad guys, have lunch, kill bad guys, drive home, watch Seinfeld" comment. I've heard some things about the life that are actually sounding appealing, but I'd like to get the straight info before I apply to become a permanent UAV pilot (18x, I guess?).

I suppose what I'm look for is, how's the quality of life, at work and outside it, as a UAV pilot? How often do you deploy, and to where (if you can say), and for how long? What's the area like at Creech/Cannon?

I'm considering the possibility...just want to have some more information before committing to anything.

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