AETC to Double RPA Training in a Year

Air Education and Training Command will double the amount of remotely piloted aircraft pilots to meet an ever-increasing demand for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance across the service, AETC’s commander Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson said Sept. 15 at ASC15. The command currently trains 192 RPA pilots per year, and plans to train 384 by next year as a way to be able “to sustain requirements and crew for the foreseeable future.” The decision follows Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s decision to let the Air Force drop its requirement for RPA combat air patrols from 65 per day to 61, a “big deal,” he said. This allows the Air Force to free up operational pilots to become instructor pilots and help train the incoming officers who will take over the RPA fleet. The decision will improve the long term health based on the importance of RPAs in the future, he said.