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UPT to UAVs...what a deal!

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UPT to UAVs...what a deal!

Old 09-16-2008, 09:20 AM
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Default UPT to UAVs...what a deal!

Well I guess everyone knew this was coming. I can see it now at assignment night: "Congrats Lt Jones...after 52 weeks of getting kicked in the groin during UPT, you are heading to the desert in Nevada to fly a really advanced remote control airplane. Enjoy!"

The bright side of all this is that a KC-135 will now be considered a SWEET deal.

Air Force develops plan for filling unmanned aircraft system positions
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:20 AM
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Has anybody compared the cost-savings if the AF used enlisted folks for UAVs like the Army does? Big waste to send someone to UPT to have them play a video game. Why is the Army smarter on this than the AF?
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FredDriver View Post
Well I guess everyone knew this was coming. I can see it now at assignment night: "Congrats Lt Jones...after 52 weeks of getting kicked in the groin during UPT, you are heading to the desert in Nevada to fly a really advanced remote control airplane. Enjoy!"

The bright side of all this is that a KC-135 will now be considered a SWEET deal.

Air Force develops plan for filling unmanned aircraft system positions
They told me back in the stone age that flying a tanker was a sweet deal.

It only took me 25 years to figure out the truth.

WW
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Box Office View Post
Has anybody compared the cost-savings if the AF used enlisted folks for UAVs like the Army does? Big waste to send someone to UPT to have them play a video game. Why is the Army smarter on this than the AF?
I think the issue was that AF UAVs fly through class A airspace, but still, you can train anybody to properly fly through different classes of airspace
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:44 PM
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I like how they can take a bad deal and put true blue Colonel speak on it and make it seem like a dream assignment.

"Pilots flying unmanned aircraft today and Airmen selected for the new UAS training program are charting ground-breaking paths for the Air Force," Colonel Lee said. "They are truly trailblazers."
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Box Office View Post
Has anybody compared the cost-savings if the AF used enlisted folks for UAVs like the Army does? Big waste to send someone to UPT to have them play a video game. Why is the Army smarter on this than the AF?
Are you talking about the Army 3-ft wingspan line-of-sight remote control aircraft with a camera as opposed to the multi-million dollar USAF unmanned vehicles operating over-the-horizon at 300 knots with up to 5,000lbs of forward-firing ordnance in close proximity to manned aircraft and occasionally employing said ordnance in close proximity to friendly troops?

Why aren't you smarter on this?

By the way, employing ordnance in real life and killing others in support of national defense (whether on the other side of the world or not) is in no way considered "playing a video game."
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:01 PM
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is in no way considered "playing a video game."
I certainly wouldn't consider it on the same level as flying an actual aircraft into combat, with actual rounds flying towards your actual body. Compared to that, in my humble opinion, the "video game" analogy is not too far off.

Disclaimer- I haven't done either, nor do I claim to have... and I have nothing against UAV's or their pilots, but I can understand Freddriver and Box Office's point.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LivingInMEM View Post
Are you talking about the Army 3-ft wingspan line-of-sight remote control aircraft with a camera as opposed to the multi-million dollar USAF unmanned vehicles operating over-the-horizon at 300 knots with up to 5,000lbs of forward-firing ordnance in close proximity to manned aircraft and occasionally employing said ordnance in close proximity to friendly troops?

Why aren't you smarter on this?

By the way, employing ordnance in real life and killing others in support of national defense (whether on the other side of the world or not) is in no way considered "playing a video game."
So, maybe an E-1 straight out of basic ain't the answer.
However, I'll bet there are plenty of non-rated officers who either washed out or never got the chance at UPT who would love to be a UAV pilot.
How many guys have you run into who've given you the "I wanted to be a pilot but my (eye, ears, height, whatever) weren't good enough".

If the USAF is going to spend millions training a guy to fly an actual aircraft at UPT, he should end up in an actual aircraft when he gets his wings. Have a UAV pilot rating, specialized training and don't mix the two - that's my answer.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Adlerdriver View Post
So, maybe an E-1 straight out of basic ain't the answer......Have a UAV pilot rating, specialized training and don't mix the two - that's my answer.
Maybe that's because you aren't familiar with what they do.

I am not a fan of sending UPT grads to UAV's, I am not a fan of sending UPT grads to F-22's, and I am not a fan of sending non-rated pilots to UAV's. For years, a myriad of staff jobs have been slotted for rated officers, when in reality they had no such real requirement. I assume that you believe the duty officer in the command post, the guy carrying the safety brick, the guy working assignments at MPC, the ALO, etc all should be pilots; but the guy flying the actual aerial vehicle providing no sh** CAS should not be.

The difficult part of being a UAV operator is not flying the UAV, just as the difficult part of flying the F-15 is not flying it....the difficult part is employment. Do you have any idea of how the UAV's are integrating into the combat environment? Do you have any idea of the importance of taking tactically experienced pilots who can envision the environment the UAV is operating in and make appropriate decisions as far as objective coverage or weapons employment is concerned. Lives are at stake, let's go ahead and lower the bar here.

Detpilot, I have flown aircraft in combat, and I understand the responsibility that comes with pressing the pickle button no matter where your actual a** may be residing. The most difficult part of employing ordnance in real life is not the fact that you are over the objective, the most difficult part is knowing that people are about to die and being comfortable with the fact that you did everything correctly. Have you seen what the current leadership does when things go wrong in combat - it doesn't take much searching to find examples of soldiers/pilots/Marines/etc being charged with crimes such as manslaughter. I would like to believe that you can understand the unbelievably intense and split-second decision making process a cop goes through before taking a life, now multiply that times some factor due to either the political sensitivities of the region, the understanding that if you fail US or Allied forces may die, or the knowledge that if you made a mistake you may be charged with a crime. That is no exaggeration, that's reality.

The reality is you joined the USAF to provide this nation with whatever services you were asked. There is no more important mission in this war....period... than protecting our soldiers on the ground. Before you whine about having to do a tour in a UAV, try walking down the street wondering if every pile of trash or scar in the road is an IED. And, given that protecting our soldiers is job one, it is the UAV's doing that job right now. Like it or not, that is what it is - there is no more important task than killing those who are trying to kill ours. And their security is more important than putting some under-qualified guy in there so you can go fly around the flag pole.

Adler, that guy that washed out of UPT most likely washed out becuase of insufficient judgement, airmanship, or decision-making. Are those the guys that we need to have employing ordnance. The guys on the ground need CAS NOW, and they are counting on this guy to make the right call? By the way, have you seen what it takes to wash out of UPT nowadays? How about those that taught IFF or at an RTU? Would you characterize those students as "strong decision makers"? The lives of friendlies are going to rest on the fact that this guy can make the right decision with regards to: if to employ, where to emply, how to employ, what to employ (MQ-9), or how much to employ and you want to send guys that have trouble making (and then sticking with) a decision on which way to turn in holding? Uhh...OK?
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Box Office View Post
Has anybody compared the cost-savings if the AF used enlisted folks for UAVs like the Army does? Big waste to send someone to UPT to have them play a video game. Why is the Army smarter on this than the AF?
Because manned aviation is not the core identity of the army.
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