The Air Force recently announced it had received 185 applications from enlisted personnel to fly the RQ-4 Global Hawk, the long range, high altitude, fly-by-keyboard unmanned aircraft. This marks the first time the Air Force has selected enlisted personnel to “fly” the UAVs.
“Expanding opportunities in the RPA program is Read more
The controversial DoD budget proposal that has been in the news for the past few weeks contains two specific items for the US Air Force — the end (again) for the A-10 Thunderbolt II (“Warthog”), and the U-2 Dragon Lady.
The former is supposed to be replaced by the F-35; the latter, by the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk.
The A-10 has been on and off the chopping block for decades — most recently preserved by the very intentional efforts of a single Senator, who now calls this decision a “serious mistake.”
In an interesting turnabout, the Air Force is responding to a tightening budget by canceling the much vaunted RQ-4 Global Hawk program and extending the life of the manned U-2 it was intended to replace. The decision reportedly affects the Block 30 Global Hawk, but not the Block 40 or Navy variants.
The Air Force wants to terminate the Block 30 Northrop Read more
Two 2nd Lts at Beale Air Force Base became the first RQ-4 Global Hawk pilots to graduate the dedicated UAV operator course, which is designed for those who were not previously rated pilots.
The new classification 18X is designated for RPA pilots coming from non-rated career fields as well as Read more
The New York Times reports the United States has, with the knowledge of the Mexican government, begun flying drones over its southern neighbor to “gather intelligence” on Mexico’s ongoing drug war.
Officials on both sides of the border also said that Mexico asked the United States to use its drones to help track suspects’ movements. The officials said that while Mexico had its own unmanned aerial vehicles, they did not have the range or high-resolution capabilities necessary for certain surveillance activities.
One American military official said the Pentagon had flown Read more