Earlier this month, the Air Force took another big step in institutionalizing its new enlisted career field for airmen who operate sensors on remotely piloted aircraft by accepting, for the first time ever, students directly from basic military training into its new basic sensor operator training course at Randolph AFB, Tex. Of the 14 students in the BSOT course that began on Jan. 15, eight came straight from BMT at Lackland AFB, Tex., joining six students, who have prior Air Force service and are being retrained for this role. TSgt. Sonny Cohrs, a spokesman for Randolph’s 12th Flying Training Wing told the Daily Report Tuesday that this first inclusion of fresh BMT graduates is “a very big deal” for the ramp-up of this training. It’s one of several efforts underway to speed the flow of airmen to operate MQ-1 and MQ-9 unmanned surveillance aircraft. (Includes Randolph report by Sean Bowlin)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.