Sunday, January 25, 2015

Destroying the Pilot Corps in Order to Save It

I don't understand why our Air Force insists that only pilots be allowed to fly drones when this duty is destroying the morale of officers who joined the Air Force to be up in the sky, and when NCOs are more than capable of controlling them and are eager to do so.

I don't understand the stubborn Air Force opposition to letting sergeants fly drones:

By 2013 UAV operators were nearly nine percent of all air force pilots, triple the percentage in 2008. The air force is unable to get enough manned aircraft pilots to “volunteer” to do a three year tour as a UAV operator and cannot train non-pilot officers fast enough to be career UAV operators. A lot of pilots are getting out of the air force in part because of the prospect of another three year tour with UAVs. At this point UAV operators leave the air force at three times the rate of pilots of manned aircraft. Worst of all, UAV operators are not shown the same respect as pilots who go into the air aboard their aircraft. All this would go away if the air force allowed NCOs (sergeants) to be operators of the larger UAVs but the air force leadership is very hostile to that idea. Despite the GAO study, the head of the air force continues to insist that all UAV operators be pilots.

The Air Force wants Congress to throw more money at officer pilots who are miserable to convince them to stay in the Air Force and keep flying drones.

Come on guys, you act like the Air Force is a finishing school for proper officers and gentlemen rather than an organization designed to fly and fight.

If one goal conflicts with the other, choose the latter! Fly and fight, damn it.