The Air Force’s first enlisted RPA pilot selection board is now soliciting applications for RQ-4 Global Hawk training. Application packages must be submitted to the Air Force Personnel Center by Nov. 18 to be considered by the board, which will convene Jan. 23-26, 2017, at the AFPC, according to a release. During an enlisted all-call in June, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Hawk Carlisle said two enlisted pilot initial classes (EPIC) would make up a beta phase of the plan to train enlisted airmen to fly the RQ-4 Global Hawk before the training is opened to more enlisted airmen. In July, the service picked the first 10 enlisted airmen who will train to fly the RQ-4 Global Hawk and become the first enlisted airmen to fly since World War II. Their training will begin in October. The personnel center said the selection process mirrors that used for the officers’ undergraduate flying training program. “We’re confident that a rigorous selection process will yield excellent enlisted aircrew who will continue to provide combatant commanders with the ISR they need to win today’s fight,” said CMSgt. Eric Rigby, the enlisted aircrew assignment chief at AFPC, according to the release. Applicants for the enlisted pilot program must be staff sergeant through senior master sergeants in the 1A, aircrew operations, or 1U, RPA sensor operator, career fields, and have six years of eligible service after graduation. The end goal is for a majority of the RQ-4 pilots to be enlisted airmen, with key leadership positions filled by experienced ISR officers, AFPC said.
The Air Force pointed out numerous operational and programmatic effects from Congress' inability to approve fiscal 2022 funding. These include hits to programs already underway as well as 16 new starts, plus seven military construction projects. Readiness also is suffering because the funding limits maintenance and exercises.