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After years of debate on whether enlisted airmen should return to the cockpit -- manned or unmanned -- two master sergeants this month achieved the first solo flights since 1961.
The enlisted airmen, only identified by first names Mike and Alex, fulfilled the historic milestone on Nov. 3 after they flew in a DA-20 Katana two-seat, light aircraft over Colorado's Pueblo Memorial Airport as part of the Air Force's Initial Flight Training program, the Air Force said in a release.
The program is mandatory for all manned aircraft pilots, combat systems officers and remotely piloted aircraft pilots, the release said.
The Air Force announced last year it would begin training enlisted airmen to operate the unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. Officials in September touted that the Enlisted Pilot Initial Class, or EPIC, would begin on Oct. 12 with four of 12 total students training alongside 20 recently commissioned officers. The training process spans a whole year, the release said.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Slakecontagia
A lot of universities have started offering UAV programs, from designing them to operating them.