JUNE 2, 2017, JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) – Airmen interested in becoming an enlisted remotely piloted aircraft pilot have until Nov. 15, 2017, to submit completed application packages, including physical exams, to the Air Force Personnel Center.
Applicants may be staff sergeants through senior master sergeants in any Air Force specialty code who are not receiving a Critical Skills Retention Bonus. In order to apply, Airmen require six years retainability from the course graduation date or the ability to obtain it.
The complete application package includes an Air Force initial flying class II physical examination plus a pilot qualification test, which is key in measuring aptitude for success in RPA pilot training.
“The selection board process mirrors that of the undergraduate flying training program as closely as possible,” said Senior Master Sgt. Colin Fleck, the career enlisted aviator assignments manager. “The board uses the ‘whole person’ concept to evaluate candidates.”
Candidates will be evaluated based on their entire military personnel record and pilot candidate selection method, or PCSM, test score. The average PCSM score for those selected by the inaugural board in February was 73, with overall select scores ranging from 55 to 96.
Airmen who have already amassed off-duty flying hours are also able to apply the experience toward their PCSM, which Fleck said is the same scoring system used to select Air Force officer pilots.
Expanding opportunities in the RPA pilot program is one of many ways the Air Force is tapping into the talent of its skilled, diverse and innovative enlisted force as a part of the deliberate approach to enhance the Air Force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission. The Air Force plans for the number of enlisted RPA pilots to grow to 100 within four years.
“The Enlisted RPA pilot program makes the most of the capabilities of our enlisted force to provide options that build a more agile ISR force in the future, placing highly capable enlisted forces in a position to support the future threat environment,” Fleck said.
The Enlisted RPA Pilot Selection Board will convene in January 2018 to fill training slots for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
For more information on the enlisted RPA pilot selection process, visit the active duty enlisted retraining or assignments pages on myPers, or select “Active Duty Enlisted” from the dropdown menu and search “Enlisted RPA.”
By Kat Bailey, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs