Pilot - RPA marriage

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Cadette20, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Cadette20

    Cadette20 New Member

    Jun 6, 2018
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    I am a rising 2dig Cadette. I have been dating this guy for awhile now and who knows if it will work. I am dead set on being a pilot and he is dead set on RPAs. I was just curious if there are couples out there that are RPA and Pilot married couples out there? If so I would like to know your story and how hard it was to go through training apart.
  2. Humey

    Humey Member

    Jun 21, 2016
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    It would be very helpful if you were both stationed in Nevada
    Cadette20 likes this.
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 26, 2008
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    Time for honesty here...a "traditional pilot" and an "RPA pilot" will be a tough joint career.

    Take a look at the options...where are the RPA's at and what are the options? MQ-9's and RQ-4? Okay...where are they?

    Beale AFB, CA
    Grand Forks AFB, ND

    Creech AFB, NV
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Holloman AFB, NM
    Tyndall AFB, FL

    There may be a few more locations for RPA crews to be based; no RPA's there, just the mission command elements.

    Now...match those to "airplane" bases...Beale AFB? The venerable U-2 but you don't get that out of SUPT. And as one that has tried the Dragonlady (briefly, I opted out when CinC House said I should not do it)...it's a b**** to fly; the mission is awesome, the mission tempo is VERY busy. Grand Forks...in the old days it was a bomber/tanker base; now...no other aircraft.

    Creech...Nellis is fairly close but that's not an initial assignment base for a pilot. Shaw...F-16 base...Tyndall...F-22 base...Holloman...nothing...

    In short...you've got a large gap of area for assignments. In North Dakota...203 miles west of Grand Forks lies Minot AFB...B-52 base.

    This would be a challenge...nothing is impossible; my wife and I endured one base apart, one conflict apart (desert storm) before she decided she was done flying for the AF and went back to the engineering field in the civilian world. I flew with a pilot who's wife was always based "about 500 miles away" for most of their careers. They hit 20, both Lt Col's, and said "time for us" and they retired. Last I heard they were loving life like newlyweds!

    It can be done but both must be very honest about the challenges.

    USAFA '83
    Cadette20, DDmom, Pima and 2 others like this.
  4. zachtx

    zachtx 5-Year Member

    Mar 4, 2013
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    The easiest places for you to both go would be a) Nellis/Creech in Las Vegas with the HH-60 & MQ-9 or b) Cannon AFB in lovely Clovis, NM. AFSOC flies multiple FW aircraft and MQ-9s out of there, but other than those, from what I can tell, joint spouse assignments would be tough to come by. I know RPAs are stationed at a few other locations, but from what I have seen, most Lts start their career at either Creech or Cannon. You may be able to pull the joint spouse card and be sent to Laughlin for UPT, while he does his training in San Antonio.
    Cadette20 likes this.
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    I love that our OP entitles (her)self as "Cadette."
    Cadette20 likes this.