Distance in War: The Experience of MQ-1 and MQ-9 Aircrew
AIR AND SPACE POWER JOURNAL MAXWELL AFB AL
Pagination or Media Count:
For thousands of years combatants have continually moved further and further away from the point of direct physical engagement during battle. The longbow, musket, cannon, and airplane are a few examples of technology that provides an extended reach for those who possess such instruments of warfare, and simultaneously reduces the risk of death should one retain the technological advantage. This unending transformation has resulted in palpable physical and emotional distancing between attackers and their targets. At their inception, remotely piloted aircraft RPA appeared as the next evolution in this process, providing near complete separation between adversaries. Yet, there is anecdotal and medical evidence indicating RPA aircrew experience mental reactions to warfare as strong as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The confusing array of fact and opinion on this subject demanded a study focused specifically on characterizing the psychological responses to killing from RPA aircrew and understanding their level of mental engagement with combat. The findings of this study have significant implications for the MQ- 19 community and the overall military in understanding the changing character of modern warfare.
- Stress Physiology