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More Enlisted Airmen Can Apply to Fly Drones

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

The next batch of airmen interested in flying RQ-4 Global Hawk drones have one week left to apply for the enlisted remotely piloted aircraft pilot selection board.

Noncommissioned and senior noncommissioned officers have until Nov. 15 to submit applications to be considered for the career field, Air Force officials recently said.

“This is an opportunity for active-duty airmen in the ranks of staff sergeant-select through senior master sergeants who meet and complete the application requirements to be considered for the 1U1X1 Enlisted Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot career field,” said Master Sgt. Mark Moore, the Air Force Personnel Center career enlisted aviator assignments manager.

“Just like officers from other career fields apply to become pilots, AFPC will conduct annual selection boards every January to select qualified enlisted airmen for entry into this new, exciting career field,” he said in a release. “Applicants have no need to be in their retraining window or be concerned about the end date of an overseas assignment.”

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In March, the service selected its first 30 enlisted airmen to begin training to fly the Global Hawk. The selection board met in February to deliberate and choose from 185 active-duty enlisted airmen who made it past an initial qualifying phase of the program.

The Air Force said this AFSC is not part of the its formal retraining program, but rather a career opportunity for qualified NCOs to fly the unarmed RQ-4.

Candidates will be evaluated based on their entire military personnel record and pilot candidate selection method, or PCSM, test score, according to the release. The average PCSM score for those selected by the February board was 73, with overall select scores ranging from 55 to 96, officials said.

Those pilots who have accumulated off-duty flying hours are also able to apply the experience toward their PCSM, the release said.

The Air Force announced in 2015 it would begin training enlisted airmen to operate the Global Hawk.

The AFPC said last November that 305 active-duty enlisted airmen had been identified to apply for the selection board.

The center said it saw a surge of interest from potential RPA airmen during the application process, receiving more than 800 applications compared to a typical 200.

The Air Force plans for the number of enlisted RPA pilots to grow to 100 within four years.

Those interested in applying should visit the active-duty enlisted assignments page via the myPers website.

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