Air Platforms

AFA Winter 2018: USAF studying reducing UAV manpower

22 February 2018

The US Air Force (USAF) is studying how to reduce the number of airmen it takes to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fewer than 10, according to a key officer.

Air Education and Training Command (AETC) chief Lieutenant General Steven Kwast said on 22 February that it took the USAF 13 airmen to operate one UAV when the service first started deploying the aircraft in the 1990s. The service, he said, has reduced that ratio to 10:1, but it needs to do better.

Lt Gen Kwast said, in comparison, the USAF has a ratio of 1.5:1 airmen to aircraft to operate a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

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