UAV Slots

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by kirbinator, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. kirbinator

    kirbinator Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was told that only one third of the class of '09 got manned slots out of the Academy.... is that even a little bit true?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Considering that even for UAV, you have to go to UPT, (Correct me if I'm wrong), and approximately only 50% of the graduating class get UPT slots, (Correct me if I'm wrong), and only after completion of that, do you find out which aircraft or UAV you'll get, (Correct me if I'm wrong), and that most graduates have a wait time prior to the start of UPT, due to backlog, (Correct me if I'm wrong), and therefor any cadet who's a graduate of the class of 2009 probably hasn't even completed UPT yet, (Correct me if I'm wrong), I find it almost impossible for anyone to say what percentage of the class got what.

    Now, if you're saying that you heard that only 1/3 of those selected for UPT will get manned aircraft, well I guess that's as good as any rumor. But again, I doubt that those who got UPT out of the academy class of 2009 have even completed UPT. So saying how many received manned aircraft is hard to say. After graduation, leave time (Vacation), and then even if they jumped right into UPT training, (Which I doubt, but is possible), it's only been 6 months. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Mike....
     
  3. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    516
    No one can say for certain what the future will hold as far as UAS/UAV slots go. For right now, all I can do is give you the data that I know. The last USAFA class that I have numbers for is 2011, who will find out their AFSC assignments in a couple of weeks.

    Rated slots available to the class of 2011:

    Pilot - 500
    Nav - 25
    ABM - 14
    UAS - 18

    That's 18 slots out of 557 available that go directly to UAS.

    Now, you can also get a UAS slot when you get your drop at UPT, so I checked the last UPT drop, which was class 10-05(Laughlin) that graduated on 23 Feb 2010. Here it is:

    B-2 - One
    B-52 - Two
    C-130J - Three
    C-17 - One
    C-12 - One
    C-5 - Two
    F-15E - One
    F-16C - One
    KC-10 - Two
    KC-135 - Two
    RC-135 - One
    RQ/MQ-1- Three
    T-1 FAIP - One
    T-6 FAIP - Two
    T-38 FAIP -One

    So there you have three of 24 slots out of UPT that got UAS. Like I said, no one knows how it will change in the future, but the current classes are not being sent to UAS in droves like some would believe.

    Stealth_81
     
  4. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    5
    Where do you find the latest information on drops from UPT training? Is that public information somewhere?
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    274
    baseops.net's forums usually update UPT drops fairly regularly.


    Most of '09 hasn't even track selected, to my knowledge.
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    516
    Baseops has the UPT info like Ramius said. I used the Wants Check website to look up the info for my post. www.wantscheck.com I like Wants Check better because of the different ways that it allows you to look at the data. You can pull up charts and graphs of UPT info based on track select, airframe, or UPT base.

    Stealth_81
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    SHAME ON YOU STEALTH, you burst the bubble with facts! Don't you know according to some manned AC's are on the way out like the doo-doo bird?:shake:

    UAVS will become a larger part of the AF, don't fool yourself. However, the most important thing is to love what you are doing when you are doing it. Personally, I think the AF is not handing down UAV slots because they are opting a different route to fill the reqs. They are opting to have pilots who stepped out and met their gates to fill slots. Pilots who step out for a long time who have met gates find it hard to get back into the cockpit, and are more than willing to take a UAV slot just to be close to flying if that is their only option. We actually have a friend who left the AF 8 yrs ago to fly for UNITED, due to furloughs he decided to return to the AF, same rank (O-4), and will be fling UAVS out of Creech. They need him for his F-15E combat experience, his ALO experience (not AFA ALO), his leadership experience to groom the future UAV leaders. Honestly, because of his rank, I wouldn't be shocked if he makes Gen., since they do not have enough field grade officers. Had he returned to the Strike he would have no career progression.

    What shocks me most about that list is the AF has returned to FAIPs again. I am not sure why I am shocked because the military has a history of flip flopping 180 degrees. 20 yrs ago there were FAIPs, 10 yrs ago there were no FAIPs, now there are FAIPS again. The only thing that worries me about FAIPs is that it may mean the pipeline is slowing down for RTU/FTU, and for the incoming AFA class that might mean less UPT slots. FAIPs spend 3-4 yrs as IPs and then they move onto their operational aircraft. It is not a career airframe like a 15 or 16. The FA in FAIP stands for FIRST ASSIGNMENT.

    FWIW, it might not mean that there are too many in UPT to give airframes to, it also might mean that there are not enough "gray beards" filling the positions, so don't freak! Traditionally, "gray beards" are the O-5's who are going to retire after that assignment, and want to fly, but not operationally. They volunteer to be a UPT instructor. Randolph is probably their number 1, since they will be able to convert to busdriver easiest from TX.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  8. MsFoxyFlyGrl

    MsFoxyFlyGrl New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vance 10-10

    I'm currently in pilot training awaiting my assignment night in three weeks. Although the number of manned assigmnents is Decreasing it is not down to 1/3. Like the drop listed above that is what a standard drop looks like for a class. Although three UAVs doesn't seem like many...it is when each assignable class is roughly 6-15 persons. Therefore if you fall into the bottom third you are in UAV territory. We had a recent briefing that stated the number will increase to 600 slots to fill by 2011...that works out to about 3-5 per class . The truth is that the UAV is the future and even those that are lucky enough to go to a manned aircraft straight out of UPT will now only be stationed at that base for 2-3 years before being benched or going to a staff job. The number of available instructor pilot assignments are also decreasing so based off the current data the future for pilots is looking bleak. On a positive note...apparently uav pilots make bank in the civilian world since the demand is high. Any more questions let me know!
    Missmartin08@yahoo.com
     
  9. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why Not use Warrants?

    While there will always be some need for officers/pilots in the UAV/UAS community, maybe someone can tell me why the AF uses multi-million $'s to train UPT grads instead of making use of existing Warrant Officer ranks on the books to put highly qualified Enlisted applicants into these slots after necessary training? Or are they already looking at or doing that? The Army has been doing it for decades with their helo's. Seems like a no brainer...
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    Okay...first, the caveat: THIS IS MY OPINION...not policy, etc. :smile:

    The AF is learning...they've sent two classes of "non rated" folks through UAS school and those pilots are now operational and doing fine! There's plans to send a LOT more "non pilots" into the UAS pipeline and for exactly the same reason you mention.

    As for the Warrant Officer issue...the AF officially does not have WO's. That rank "died" around 1970 if memory serves...we had one of the last AF WO's working for my father in the UK and we had his retirement party at our house. I think he said there were perhaps 2 left in the AF when he retired. But...those are the memories of a 10 year old.

    Why doesn't the AF use the WO rank? Now? Truthful opinion here: they don't see value in the grade. Why? Because of the "super enlisted" grades of E-8 and E-9. The AF sees the commissioned officer as the "college graduate" that is the "professional" and the senior enlisted as the "super worker bee supervisor" that runs the show in a lot of ways. The WO in history has been the supernumerary...a professional, typically trained to expertise in a very narrow field.

    The AF has always viewed their pilots as "able to fly any plane we choose, just send them to training." With a WO, while we all know that's easily done as well, in the historical past of the AF, that wasn't done so much.

    Bottom line, IMHO...it's simply been out of the AF so long that it won't come back as it's not viewed as a needed grade.

    And make no mistake, the AF like all the other services has a big, subtle and mostly hidden, "schism" between officers and NCO's: a hierarchy of grade and position. The nice thing is, and I speak only from the AF perspective as I've only dealt with USArmy folks for less than 6 months...we're a little more "relaxed" in the AF about it.

    But the HIGH UPS are not. :wink:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seems that UAS/UAV operator would qualify as expertise in a very narrow field, but I guess it comes down to service culture and history. I'm not even sure if the Navy or Marines still have WO's. Knew a few back in the early to mid 80's though!

    PJ
    USNA '82
     
  12. Kero

    Kero Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Navy still has warrent officers and has actually just recently opened manned aviation to them as the first ones are going through flight school now. Also, for what it's worth we have enlisted fly UAS's, they pick it up as a rate right out of basic I think, because honestly who's the best at playing video games, probably that 18 yr old just out of high school.
     
  13. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow! I had no idea we were doing that I'll have to Google it! :wow:

    PJ
     
  14. C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight

    C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
  15. MsFoxyFlyGrl

    MsFoxyFlyGrl New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay to respond to this thread quickly the reason we have rated officers fly UAVs has to do with the FAA and ICAO flight rules. Other branches apparently fly their UAVs at lower flight levels which do not interfere with specific airspaces; whereas not only are our UAVs much larger they also fly at much higher altitudes AND drop munitions. The FAA has a large problem with non pilots operatings these aircraft with no pilot ratings. That is the difference. Waivers are apparently in the works but nothing has manifested itself by way of action yet so therefore they will continue to pull from our pilot community. And as stated below...no we do dont have warrant officers, our option would be our enlisted personnel. Hope that cleared it up a little more.
     
  16. MsFoxyFlyGrl

    MsFoxyFlyGrl New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    And to respond to this, this is true. I have a navy warrant officer in training with me currently and he will go to e3s at Tinker when he's done. He has done very well. So yes it's true as the guy that's in my class is the first...
     
  17. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    As someone who works under FAA rules I can understand their point, but, as the community matures and grows, I can see the military invoking MARSA (Military Assumes Responsibility for Separation of Aircraft) and having pilot rated supervisors overseeing the UAS/UAV controllers.

    PJ
     
  18. futureafacadet

    futureafacadet Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    For those who are worried about getting a UAV after getting a pilot slot: I've heard from a very good source that in the future(atleast by the time my class 2014 graduates) there will be a UAV AFSC instead of sending grads to UPT and wasting the training on the guys that get the UAV track. I hope and am very sure this is true, but who knows. I've found it best not to talk about UAVs on any of the forums, too much dispute and mystery that go with the future of this stuff.
     
  19. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    We already have non-rated UAS pilots flying the MQ-1 (Predator) and MQ-9 (Reaper). First class graduated quite some time ago and the second class should have graduated in the last 60 days or so.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  20. bandit

    bandit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im a bit confused.

    Are you saying the AFSC for UAS pilots is a non-rated field? Or, are you saying the took non-rated, trained them to be UAS pilots and now they are rated?

    I found this online, which is why I am asking.

    I am pretty sure my S inquired about the AFSC and was told that he would need to meet the same eye requirements because it was still a "rated" career field, although a waiver might be easier to get
     

Share This Page