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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Air Force Training More Pilots for Drones Than for Manned Planes

The Air Force will train more pilots to fly unmanned aerial systems from ground operations centers this year than pilots to fly fighter or bomber aircraft, Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz, the commander of Air Education and Training Command, told an audience Friday... Will the unmanned aircraft ever completely replace either bombers or fighters? In delivering weapons on target, [Air Force deputy chief of staff for ISR, Lt. Gen. David] Deptula said, "Yes, you bet."
It is funny how much a few budget cuts and a cargo pilot chief of staff could do for the Air Force. ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaisance) used to be predominantly Army and Marine scout-speak... now it is increasingly rolling off the tongues of senior Air Force officers. If you ask me, Predators, Reapers, and Rovers (can you believe that ground troops can now speak to AF personnel without a TACP?!?!) are doing a whole lot more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than missile defense and 24/7 bomber patrols are doing...

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