More Air Force Officers Asking for UAV Jobs

The US Air Force recently released the results of its most recent Flying Training selection board, in which it

consider[ed] active duty candidates for pilot, remotely piloted aircraft pilot, combat systems officer and air battle manager training.

The most notable part of the article was that “more” of these applicants — who are already active duty USAF officers, not new LTs — requested UAVs as their number one choice [emphasis added]: 

“RPA training was definitely more competitive this year since more applicants requested RPA training as their number one choice and there was a noteworthy reduction in available slots from last year,” Halleman…

It’s likely those decisions aren’t being made in a vacuum. Some would say unmanned systems are currently the place to be in the Air Force — whether because of the strong tide of “correction” that is trying to advance the RPA community within the Air Force (by overcoming its prior years of stigma), or because of the very lucrative potential career opportunities outside of the Air Force for military RPA operators.

It’s an interesting dynamic. Many years ago, the stereotype was every little boy wanted to be a fighter pilot. Now it seems many want to be joystick drivers (not that there’s anything wrong with that).


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