The responsibility entrusted to RPA pilots and sensor operators is the same as that in the manned community and yet the DoD diminishes the accomplishments of the former. RPA aircrew should be eligible for all awards and decorations for which conspicuous risk of life is not an established factor.
While there will likely always be use cases where an on-board pilot is the preferable configuration, technological advances, the world’s on-going arms race and growing fiscal restraints will invariably lead to their removal in virtually all military applications. This article will illuminate three technologies that are pushing military aviation to a remotely piloted or wholly unmanned future.
The CPIP process was considerably more practical and hands-on than the analysis conducted by the RAND Corporation. Despite the differences in approach, the teams found the same situation and had similar recommendations in many areas. The following is a comparison of language in the CPIP team outbrief to COMACC and the RAND Corporation’s recommendations.
In the late summer of 2016, the Holloman RPA community was granted the opportunity to work with the Instructional Productions flight of the 436th Training Squadron out of Dyess AFB. This 3-minute promo video for the MQ-1 and MQ-9 mission was produced and made public in late October 2016. As of this writing, this video has been seen by an estimated 7,000 people with more presentations every week.