Sunday, June 8, 2014

How To Operate A Military Drone

By Cory Mead

Learning how to drop bombs and fire Hellfire missiles is more like sitting in a regular college classroom than you might expect. There are hundreds of pages of text to digest, continual testing of knowledge, and nervous, eager students anxious to please their instructors. I know, because I spent a week at the Air Force’s drone pilot training school last year.

We were sitting in a cramped briefing room in the 9th Attack Squadron’s new headquarters at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, across the parking lot from its former, dingier quarters. The furniture was a motley assortment of old and new chairs, tables, and couches that had been scavenged from across the base. Like every building at Holloman, the headquarters was tan, mirroring the surrounding desert landscape. In the briefing room, the walls and ceiling tiles were white; a large whiteboard adorned the south wall. Only a hanging video screen disrupted the color scheme.

Patrick, a senior instructor who spent years piloting drones and engaging in “super secret squirrel stuff” in Afghanistan, led the class.

Read the rest here.

(via Marginal Revolution)

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