A Case for Enlisted Unmanned Aerial System Operators
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY
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On its face, this paper presents a feasible solution to a very contemporary problem. The Air Force needs more Unmanned Aerial System UAS operators and does not have enough experienced officer pilots to serve as these operators. Furthermore, using pilots as UAS operators costs too much money, adversely impacts upon pilot morale and degrades Air Force mission readiness. Thus, I propose that the Air Force use enlisted personnel as UAS operators. This solution may be controversial within the Air Force, but outside of the Air Force, to those who are not shackled by Air Forces cultural norms, this solution at times seems almost intuitively obvious. However, a key institutional dynamic for implementing change is to establish buy-in from within the organization, so this paper is written to persuade the fighter pilots in charge of the Combat Air Forces. It is also my hope that this paper will strike a chord with enlisted personnel and any other Air Force personnel who are interested in this subject. In this paper, I have attempted to consolidate and discredit all of the arguments for not using enlisted personnel as UAS operators and then provide several compelling arguments for using enlisted personnel as UAS operators.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations