Report: Inside Military’s Drone Pilot Training

Posted December 1, 2014 at 5:02am

National Defense Magazine reports: “Inside what looks like a small shipping container, in a tiny space crammed with rows of electronics and stacks of video displays, a pilot practices flying the MQ-9 Reaper with an instructor hovering behind.”  

“To the pilot’s right is the ‘sensor,’ who operates the Reaper’s different cameras used to hone in on a target. The sensor is listening closely to his own instructor, who is leaning over him, gesturing at some incoming video footage.”  

The piece continues: “Every pilot and sensor operator that maneuver the MQ-1 Predator and its big brother, the MQ-9 Reaper, complete both live and simulated training like this at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The base owns nine Predator and 15 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft — the Air Force’s preferred term for a drone.”  

“Training activity at Holloman reflects the ever-growing need for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets such as the MQ-1 and MQ-9, and Air Force officials expect those demands will continue into the near future, they tell National Defense.”