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Aero Precision provides OEM part support for military aircraft operators across more than 20 aircraft

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It is about time. Generals with heads up their butts should have done this years ago. Would have kept a lot of pilots from quitting the AF so they could get a real flying job. The Army Navy and Marines have been doing it for years. Good thing they have glass navels so they can see where they are going.

Bob

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In some ways the drone operators have a more stressful mission than active crews. The drone operators track the target for hours / days in real time and see up close who they are going to kill and then analyze the damage (sometimes collateral) done.  It’s not just getting close and letting GPS smart bombs find a predetermined target. I say pay them combat pay, sign on bonuses, future PTSD disability claims, and give the operators who can hack it a metal or two. 

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Larry, with due respect I will add my support to the Airforce using enlisted men to fly drones. I was a C-130 loadmaster at CCK. The lowest rank for an AC I flew with was Captain and the highest was Lt. Col. They were in command of the Aircraft and the Crew that worked for them. They made the final decision on everything we did. On occasions they would ask for our input and it was all in are none. Example little before sunset we had hydraulic fluid pouring from number two while sitting on the ground at a dirt strip that was hot. It was little before sunset and he wanted to do engine shut down right after rotation and climb out on three engines. It was an all or none decision. I call that leadership. He was in command of a flight crew. For a drone there is no command required. You are in charge of the joy stick and nothing else. Targets are identified and assigned. I was proud enlisted puke. ( I can fly an airplane too).  

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Enlisted RPA pilots must fly solo… “as part of the Air Force’s IFT program, which is mandatory for all manned aircraft pilots, combat systems officers and remotely piloted aircraft pilots.”

 The Air Force announced on Dec. 17, 2015, the initiative to train enlisted RPA pilots for RQ-4 Global Hawk flying operations. As a result, the Enlisted Pilot Initial Class began Oct. 12 with four students training alongside 20 recently commissioned officers.

 “The integration of enlisted RPA pilots into RQ-4 Global Hawk operations is part of a broader effort to meet the continual RPA demands of combatant commanders in the field, ensuring they are provided with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in their areas of responsibilities worldwide,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

 See full story http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/996754/first-two-enlisted-pilots-complete-solo-flights.aspx

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The AF started off down the RPA road with the notion that if it flies, it's flown by an O. However, there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Lords of the Clouds when many of them either didn't get to strap on a 15, 16, or 22, or the ones who were already there and not quite "acceptable", or had done the River Dance on their ....  got moved out of the cockpit and into the trailer, parked up out in the wilds of NV. Knowing the Big Blue Wiener they must have gotten tired of Buck, Troy and Skippy kicking, screaming and throwing their Teddy bears across the room, so it as time to move on to plan B. Your friendly,neighborhood Enlisted puke.     

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