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US colleges train students in drone warfare as job opportunities beckon

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posted on Sep, 12 2014 @ 10:33 PM
(I am not entirely sure if this post belongs here. If it is in the wrong forum please move it.)

Meanwhile trying to find more information and tracking the helos mentioned in this thread Why Does a Florida County Need Eight $18 Million Helicopters? I found something from September of 2013 that I've never heard being announced in any news media and also could not find any threads about it on ATS. Not sure why this information even came up in my search with google since the results I got were not related to what I was looking for originally.

However to me this seems to shed some light in the fact that it seems more and more colleges believe there will be a need for civilians who have a master's degree in "drone warfare", although there are some "civilian" applications that could use drone technology, but the courses teach how to also acquire targets and time their shots which won't have any "civilian application" unless the state department wants to use civilians with a master's degree in Weaponized Drones, and Foreign Planes on American Soil? "to hunt some Amerikans".

Now think about this. I know there will be "gamers" out there who would love this sort of news, but why in the world would you think that there is going to be so many opportunities in the 'drone warfare field"?... We are talking about colleges training civilians to not only fly drones but to learn how to use all weaponry that a drone can use...

US colleges train students in drone warfare as job opportunities beckon

Published time: September 18, 2013 03:45
Edited time: September 19, 2013 11:01

A growing number of US universities now offer degree programs for students hoping to study the military technology of the future: drones. Flying an unmanned aerial device is now a viable career in a world of growing surveillance and fewer job options.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida became the first American university to offer postgraduate education in drone warfare this autumn, opening a program that promises students job security right after school - when many of their friends could be moving back in with their parents.

Drones are most often in the headlines for eliminating suspected terrorists in Yemen and regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and more controversially for inadvertently killing civilians in those countries. But the technology has also become increasingly popular with police patrolling international borders, environmentalists studying oceanic regions, and meteorologists observing hurricane patterns.

Students who complete the six-month training program at Embry-Riddle will graduate with a master’s degree and job prospects offering a starting salary of US$150,000 a year.

“We’re trying to prepare our students so they’re ready to operate at the highest levels,” Dan Maccharella, department chair of aeronautical sciences at Embry-Riddle, told AP. “It’s going to take off like a rocket. We had students go through the program as fast as they could to get out there.”

Is this some sort of preparation for some future massive war/s the state department has in mind, or for what? The thought crossed my mind that it is possible that this is just some sick attempt by some people to just "capitalize" on the fact that there are so many "gamers who would love to be able to fly a real armed drone in a warzone". But the article itself states that "a growing number of U.S. universities are offering this degree" so I looked a bit more to see some of the other colleges or universities that are offering this program.

There is a university in North Dakota offering this degree.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations

B.S. in Aeronautics with a Major in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations curriculum is offered to those students whose career objectives are aimed at the civil unmanned aircraft systems industry. The program provides the breadth and depth of instruction needed to ensure graduates are prepared to work as pilots/operators and/or developmental team members of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) while fully understanding the operational and safety environments of the National Airspace System. Courses require students to be comfortable utilizing complex science, technology, engineering and mathematics principles. In addition, students must possess strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. A Commercial Pilot Certificate, with instrument and multiengine ratings is required.

As some of the technologies involved with UAS fall under International Traffic in Arms Regulations, students wishing to pursue this degree program must be able to prove United States citizenship prior to enrolling in the following courses: AVIT 331, 332, 333, 334 and 338. There are no exceptions to this policy.
•UND Official Catalog Information
•Essential Studies Requirements

(to be continued)

edit on 12-9-2014 by ElectricUniverse because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 12 2014 @ 10:33 PM
Some other universities offering this program.

Of course, there is always the opportunity to work as a civilian contractor for the military...

I also found this which "in part" is a bit hilarious, or at least some of the "uses" that are being claimed that drones will be used for in the near future...

Looking for a college major? How about drone technology

Sydney Kashiwagi, USA TODAY 4:37 p.m. EST January 2, 2014

The controversial use of drones in business and everyday life is leading to more and more interest on an academic level

In March, 47-year-old Stephen Myers ditched the information technology company that he built from the ground up and went back to school.

His choice of study? Drone technology. He's now earning a specialized degree from the Unmanned Vehicle University in Arizona. Myers is taking an online course on how to control a drone's sensors and electronics, and he hopes to build a new commercial drone business.

"I think that something a lot of people don't understand is that when people think of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), they think of drones spying on them," said Myers, who lives in Naples, Fla. "What they don't realize, or what they don't understand, are all the other applications."

Drones are already being tested by companies like Amazon, which hope to use them to deliver packages, and Domino's in the United Kingdom even wants them to deliver pizza. "There is almost no industry that you can think of that can't benefit from UAVs," said Myers.

Say what?... Use drones to "deliver pizzas"?... I can see a "possible" use for drones to be used to deliver packages, but to deliver pizzas?... How in the world is that going to work? Whoever ordered a pizza is going to have to wait outside, look to the skies and catch the pizza as it is being dropped from a drone?...

What do you all think?

posted on Sep, 12 2014 @ 10:50 PM
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

I would love to be a drone operator since I can no longer fly due to health issues. Not necessarily a combat drone operator, but maybe a surveyor or some such type of job. I think that would be a hoot.

posted on Sep, 12 2014 @ 11:19 PM
How absolutely disgusting. Send your kids to hell!

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 08:32 AM
i can not wait for drone pizza delivery,shoot a drone for free food,this will be cool a free drone and pizza

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 03:42 PM
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

Calm down, I'm sure that after WWI tons of people would have thought that aeroplanes were only really useful to the military, the truth is that the military had the funding, technology and need for aircraft in new military applications. Now we use planes for loads of things transport, aerial photography, ambulances, police vehicles etc...

We face the same thing with drones; the military took them as a new form of technology to be exploited; they used them first for surveillance and then started to strap weapons to them just like the development of planes in WWI. My point is that right now we only have quite crude drones, soon current drones will be considered old hat just as the archaic, combat focused planes of WWI were, we are yet to see their application spread to new avenues but it will happen soon.

What will these jobs be you may ask? well surveillance for a start - the police will find it alot easier to operate a drone than a helicopter plus it brings risk factors and monetary costs right down. you may turn your nose up at surveillance uses of drones but imagine how drones can give a brilliant perspective for firefighting crews battling a blaze or for environmentalists monitoring nature. I can quite easily picture drones being used to monitor the police by activists! Search and rescue teams will find drones very useful for finding missing persons with the vast swathes of terrain they can cover quickly and comprehensively.

Drones will most probably be used for very important deliveries - a drone can take medicine to a very remote, hard to reach area in a short time space. This would allow medical teams working in remote areas the ability to request specialist drugs and equipment without having to get them themselves or carry them with them.

Agriculture will benefit from drones as drones could see use in monitoring of livestock and crops and crop-spraying. Drones would further be used to monitor assets such as unmanned oil platforms and pipelines, they'll also monitor wildlife parks and help stop poaching. Drones have already been used for various scientific applications such as creating 3D models of terrain.

Already a drone has managed to stop a company from further wrongdoing. In Texas a man flew his drone near a meatpacking plant and realised that blood was being drained into a local river turning it red.

All of the courses that you've listed in your second post are about UAS courses which don't directly cater towards military applications but the use of drones as a whole. The drone Warfare course is a postgraduate course and is very much dedicated to a military career path using drones.

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 03:46 PM
a reply to: TDawgRex

Agreed, I was just telling a friend of mine that I wish i had realized this tech would be in use or I would have gone out of my way to be a drone pilot.

Hmm, I might just do that now.
air force reserve

Though no one is physically onboard, Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) have pilots and crew members located within control centers that are often thousands of miles away. As members of the crew on MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper vehicles, RPA Sensor Operators employ airborne sensors and sophisticated video imagery equipment to monitor airborne, maritime and ground objects.

Position: Enlisted


UAS OperatorSpecific Tasks:

Conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of potential targets and areas of interest

Discriminate between valid and invalid targets using radar, electro-optical, low-light, infrared video imagery and other tracking systems

Assist RPA pilots through all phases of mission

edit on 13-9-2014 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 11:19 PM

originally posted by: DodgyDawg
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

Calm down, I'm sure that after WWI tons of people would have thought that aeroplanes were only really useful to the military, the truth is that the military had the funding, technology and need for aircraft in new military applications. Now we use planes for loads of things transport, aerial photography, ambulances, police vehicles etc...


First of all, why is it that some people don't seem to understand that the training is for "drone warfare"?

Has everyone forgotten this?

Barack Obama 'has authority to use drone strikes to kill Americans on US soil'
President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general has said.

Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an "extraordinary circumstance" comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorise the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland," Mr Holder said.

His statement was described as "more than frightening" by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who had demanded to know the Obama administration's position on the subject.


I am not saying that they are going to be killing Americans left and right, but for crying out loud have people forgotten how many "mistakes" have been done when the government/military has used drones to kill suspected terrorists?...

Collateral damage does happen when you use drones in warfare, innocent people can and have been killed even when the op is "for the best intention". Now civilians are being trained in "drone warfare...

Tell me, before 9/11 would you have thought it possible that the government would be using their own employees, TSA agents, to pretty much molest American children, women and the elderly claiming that they could be "possible extremists/terrorists because they are in a BS list the government compiled???...

How many "mistakes" does the government, and police have to make for people to realize that this is a bad idea?...

Whether the idea to train civilians in "drone warfare" was merely just an idea to exploit and capitalize on the excitement of civilians in being able to fly military drones, or whatever the reason is for this... it is a bad idea.

edit on 13-9-2014 by ElectricUniverse because: add comment.

posted on Sep, 14 2014 @ 05:30 AM
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

If they train civilians for drone warfare, then they will no longer be just civilians anymore. They'll be hired as contractors which is nothing more than a PC term for mercenary.

posted on Sep, 14 2014 @ 06:19 PM
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

One, ONE of these courses is directly aimed at military drone operations. It is a POSTGRADUATE course there are Thousands of courses for people to become professional soldiers and they start from the age of 16 onward in my country. This qualification is for somebody who wants to fly drones for the military it is very unlikely that a random post-grad student or - as a matter of fact - any student would actually take this course, unless they wanted to be a military drone operator.

a reply to: TDawgRex

I'd be inclined to disagree of course they have the potential to be hired as contractors, but until they have put their training to military use they are still very much civilians.

posted on Sep, 15 2014 @ 09:00 PM
a reply to: DodgyDawg

This degree is being awarded in civilian Universities. One thing is for volunteers that join the military to sign up in such a course and another entirely different is to offer this degree to civilians. BTW, the military drone operations is part of the course which is why the degree is on "drone warfare".

BTW, yes they offer smaller 3 day courses as well and as described in one of the websites this type of course if to familiarize people with UAV training which would not include "drone warfare use"

The problem I see is in the 6+ month courses which does include teaching students to acquire and eliminating targets. This type of course "are not" made for the military but for civilians. Whether those civilians will be hired as contractors working for the military or for some other agency that would occur after the student gets the degree.

Heck, in the U.S. the government, and some people want for firearms to be banned but somehow it is ok to train civilians in "drone warfare"?

BTW, I do believe in the right of Americans to own firearms, but teaching civilians to specialize in drone warfare?

edit on 15-9-2014 by ElectricUniverse because: add comment.

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