Accession Number:



Staffing for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) Alexandria United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The purpose of this study is to identify alternative staffing strategies to accomplish the Department of Defenses DoD Unmanned Aircraft System UAS-related missions in a more cost-effective fashion. Research aimed at analyzing DoDs mission requirements along with the individual Services approach to UAS staffing. Mission analysis identified various business rules applied across the DoD along with opportunities for cost savings. One of the most notable of these savings came from the use of a balanced workforce comprise of both uniformed military and government civilian. Specific opportunities rest within the larger unmanned aircraft systems where the AF alone could save a potential of approximately 94M across the FYDP by simply utilizing government civilians to appropriate mission elements. Analysis also reviewed the often emotional debate between the use of officers vs enlisted pilots and developed a model to depict three major elements for decision makers, 1 System Complexity, 2 Risk Assumed and 3 Operational Environment. While the Services staffing choices are in some cases justifiable, analysis highlighted trade space to gain manpower efficiencies and increased Service cooperation. While this report offers an initial cost analysis, a full scale costing analysis for this burgeoning career field is recommended.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement: