Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Return of the Enlisted Pilot?

We used to have them. We have put our toes in the water with Warrant and LDO pilots and NFOs shunted off to the helo and P-3 ghettos.

What we have coming down the road though is BAMS - Broad Area Maritime Surveillance UAV - basically a maritime Global Hawk.

So, what do you think - Army or Air Force UAV pilot model?
Schwartz did not rule drawing some lessons from the Army, which routinely uses enlisted people to fly UAVs and fire cannons and missiles. The Air Force has so far insisted on entrusting UAV ordnance to officers. “For the near-term, we will draw from the officer talent pools. But I don’t dismiss the possibility that we could go a different way. No options are off the table,” he said.
As for ISR strategy, the service’s role in Africa consumed much of the conversation among the generals because of the scheduled “initial operating capability” for the new Africa Command Oct. 1. “Africom is a strange animal. It is a [combatant command] with no assigned forces,” said Gen. Roger Brady, who for the time being overseas Air Force operations in Africa as commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
I like the idea of taking sharp 2nd Class Petty Officers from the Intel Community stock and making them Warrants as a start --- but that is me.

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