U.S. Air Force: Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Sensor OperatorTony wyaad October 5, 2019 12 Comments
My mother always told me that if you’re
gonna do something, “make it matter,” and I don’t think anything matters more than
what I’m doing here in the United States Air Force. I’m a Sensor Operator on the
remotely piloted aircraft. When people think of a remotely piloted aircraft
they typically only think of the Pilot, but what they don’t realize is that the
Sensor Operator is just as crucial and vital to the success of the flying
mission. The Pilot and the Sensor Operator work as a team to operate the aircraft.
The Pilot backs up the Sensor Operator with target location as well as
engagements. The Sensor Operator backs up the Pilot with aircraft systems and
weapon systems management. The range of missions that we can fly typically start
off with launch and recovery, intelligence surveillance and
reconnaissance, weapons employments, air interdiction and close air support.
Typically, in one week I can fly up to five days a week, multiple missions
within an eight to ten hour work period. The hardest part of being a Sensor Operator is because we are in such high demand. There’s always rapid changes in our
techniques, our procedures and our technology is always changing. The type
of training required to become Sensor Operator starts at Lackland Air Force
Base, where you go through aircrew fundamentals. From there, you move on to Randolph Air Force Base where you will complete the basic sensor operator
course. Upon graduation, you are sent to Holloman Air Force Base where you
complete your initial qualification training, which goes over all of our
mission sets, as well as weapons employment and camera optimization. I
truly believe that being an Airman in United States Air Force is the greatest
and most honorable opportunity I’ve ever been given in my life. And every morning
when I wake up and put on that uniform, I go out there to protect my family and protect the nation that’s given so much to me.