The Air Force is considering whether it should create a new specialty just for pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles, but Air Force spokesperson Maj. Brenda Campbell told the Daily Report Wednesday that, contrary to some rumors, there is “no move to separate them out” right now. Currently, UAV pilots are drawn from the service’s main pilot force and potentially from its growing force of combat systems officers. And, currently, USAF has no overall shortage of pilots. Air Force officials believe that anyone who “pilots” a UAV, especially one that is armed and higher flying, should know flight rules and the flying environment. Campbell did say that a stand-alone UAV specialty is “potentially something that might happen in the future.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.