Air Force to Select Next Round of Enlisted Drone Pilots

A maintenance crew secures an RQ-4 Global Hawk on a runway after completing a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia on Feb. 20, 2017. Senior Airman Tyler Woodward/Air Force
A maintenance crew secures an RQ-4 Global Hawk on a runway after completing a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia on Feb. 20, 2017. Senior Airman Tyler Woodward/Air Force

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The second annual enlisted remotely piloted aircraft pilot selection board meets at the Air Force's Personnel Center this week to identify the next enlisted group to attend RPA pilot training as part of the deliberate approach to enhance the Air Force's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance mission.

AFPC has received complete application packages from 134 enlisted Airmen who are setting a historic precedence within the RPA community.

"Integrating enlisted pilots into the RQ-4 community enables the Air Force to meet mission requirements as the ISR mission grows, while tapping into the talent of our skilled, diverse and innovative enlisted force," said Senior Master Sgt. Holger Dunwald, Enlisted Aircrew Assignments manager at AFPC.

AFPC has played an integral role in executing the new policies, running the selection board and executing the career management of the new enlisted RPA pilots.

"The Air Force has an incredibly talented pool of enlisted Airmen, and we're confident that a rigorous selection process will yield excellent enlisted aircrew who will continue to provide combatant commanders with the ISR they need to win today's fight," Dunwald said.

The selection board mirrors that of the undergraduate flying training program as closely as possible and looks at each applicant's entire military personnel record.

"This 'whole person' concept provides the measure of an applicant's aptitude for success in RPA pilot training," he said.

AFPC will release the board results, expecting to select 40 Airmen from the pool of 134, by the end of February. The application window for the 2019 board will open in April.

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