Growing the Enlisted RPA Pilot Force

Three-hundred and five more enlisted airmen will take the next step to become enlisted remotely piloted aircraft pilots, the Air Force announced Wednesday. The group was selected out of a pool of more than 800 applicants from the July call for nominations. The airmen passed Air Force Enlisted or Officer Pilot Qualifying Test and the Test of Basic Aviation Skills, and will now get required medical screening and submit application packages by Dec. 16 before the Enlisted RPA Pilot Selection Board meets in February. “We have an incredibly talented pool of enlisted airmen, and we’re confident that this 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,” SMSgt. Rebecca Guthrie, career enlisted aviator assignments manager at the Air Force Personnel Center, said in the release. The Air Force last December laid out its get-well plan for the RPA force, including opening up the career path for enlisted airmen to fly RQ-4 Global Hawks. The first group of enlisted pilots flew their first solo flights on Nov. 3.