The US Air Force might have a successful program on its hands, after 800 airmen applied to become the service's first enlisted drone pilots. According to an Air Force Personnel Center press release, that's over four times what the undergraduate flying training program, which the new enlisted program is based on, usually gets.
But while 800 airmen applied to fly the hulking, but unarmed, surveillance drone, the AFPC selected only 305 active-duty airmen to go before selection boards, which will further ween the class down. That final group will be the first enlisted airmen to attend the year-long remotely piloted aircraft training, the AFPC said.
"We have an incredibly talented pool of enlisted Airmen, and we're confident that this 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," Senior Master Sgt. Rebecca Guthrie said in the official release.
The Enlisted Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot Selection Board meets in early February, with a final announcement slated for later that month.