Merging UAV and U-2 Training:

Air Combat Command has deactivated the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron—a Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle unit—and combined its formal training unit mission with that of the U-2 force’s FTU, the 1st RS, reports A1C George Cloutier. Both units operate out of Beale AFB, Calif. According to Lt. Col. Kurt Carraway, who changes from 18th RS director of operations to the same for the 1st RS, the former training arrangement “did a good job of training folks to be experts in their particular platform,” but there was little crossover. The new arrangement, he said, will develop “more highly qualified high altitude ISR crewmembers.” The new arrangement also will enable ACC to cut the UAV training course from six months to four. And, in October the number of students in training will increase from 24 to 36 per year and jump again by 2009 to 48 per year.