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(WTKR)   Pentagon looks for ways to honor drone pilots, besides a 1-UP   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, combat operations, honor drone  
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3093 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jul 2012 at 10:23 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-07-13 11:05:35 AM  
2 votes:
Lt. Col Harry "Hard Ass" Bomblaster groaned. The pin head flight crew of his drone did not install his seat cushion. He had clearly requested it in his pre-flight check list. It would be a tough flight today.

Harry sat down and tried to get comfortable but his butt cheeks quickly warmed. He would be very uncomfortable. He began his preflight checklist. His Throttle Control was sticky. Captain James "Slouchy" Fennermaker was probably the last pilot here. He alway flew with a couple of donuts and the controls were covered in sugar glaze. Harry looked up at the big sign he had installed. "Please wipe down the equipment Post Flight!". "Kids these days," he thought to himself. "They never read."

Continuing with his preflight, he was dismayed to find the cup holder had been given a red X. Someone had tried to put their 64 oz Sooper Slurper in it and it broke. Normally, that would keep this control system from being operational but every system was being used these days. A technician taped it closed with 100 mile an hour tape. A few years ago, there would have been three new cup holders installed to replace it. "Thanks a lot, Obama." Harry muttered.

Pre flight done and the drone powered up, Harry began the flight. Trouble started almost immediately. Someone had touched the screen. There was a big finger print right on the horizon and Harry tried to avoid what he thought was an approaching plane several times. His butt continued to bother him. The burning was now getting itchy. How hard could it be to get a simple cushion installed?

As his drone flew over central Afghanistan looking for Taliban Weddings to bomb, Harry tried to clean the controls and get some of the donut glaze off the primary systems. It proved to be impossible and dangerous. As he picked off a piece of crusty sugar, he nearly dumped his weapons stores. If all his missiles, bombs and guns had fallen off, what would he drop on the Taliban bride and groom?

Halfway through the mission, the fan quit. Not the fan that blew air across the top of the room, but the little fan that kept he feet cool. Harry almost bailed out of the simulator. Harry was now solely dependent on the room's air conditioning. If that quit, god help him.

The entire mission was a disaster. Harry only found and bombed seven suspected Taliban weddings that day. His butt developed a rash but he had already received a Purple Heart for a Butt rash in theater so he couldn't apply for another P Heart. He landed his drone and shut down the system muttering that he could not serve his country to his best under these conditions.

He left the system and went to the Commanding Officer to complain about the conditions in which he flew. The CO listened patiently to Harry and suggested Harry should transfer to the C-130s. The Eastern European Whisper Jets were always looking for warfighters. Maybe a year in the sandbox dumping MREs out the back would make Harry appreciate his current job.

Harry stormed out of the CO's office. That chair jockey had no idea what Harry did in the service of his country! He went back to his desk, put himself in for a Silver Star. After all, he spent the day facing down an 'unseen enemy'. They'd probably kick it down to a Bronze again but it was better than nothing. Harry submitted the FormFlow file for his award. "Sheesh! He had to do everything today. What kind of war was this?
2012-07-13 10:32:05 AM  
2 votes:
Some people argue the pilots shouldn't get combat recognition because they're not on the ground, in the air, or in any danger when flying the drones.

But the Pentagon told Politico the drone pilots significantly and directly impact combat operations.

Makes sense to me to reward them for their contributions to missions, rather than how likely they are to get themselves killed.
2012-07-13 11:14:29 AM  
1 vote:

What kind of medal do you give a desk jockey that kills people and breaks things in support of the war effort but is not himself in any danger?

The White House?
2012-07-13 11:06:27 AM  
1 vote:
Look. I'm an electrician. I wire houses. I'm damn good at what I do and I significantly impact the building of the community. Do I ever get a "Thank You"? Do I get any award for doing what I'm paid to do? Do I get any recognition for my service? You know I don't. Neither do most of you. These yokels may be working for the military, but there ain't nothing 'combat' anywhere except the mandatory uniform (Which I've had to wear in other companies).

They want recognition?.. Recognize that a trained hamster could do what you're doing. There's is six other guys, in Detroit alone, that could do that job. And job it is. You go home to a a cooshy recliner at the end of the day. You are free to go to the bar and brag about your exploits just like any gamer. You ain't gonna get your ass blown off in your sleep! Recognize that.

This ain't no first-grade participation trophy. You're grown-up, you do things because... because you're SUPPPOSED to do them. Man up, do your job and be glad you ain't actually in the air with your ass hanging out. There are worst things than semi-pilot.

/I want my "Thank you, Masked man"
//I had to play guitar to get any applause.
2012-07-13 10:39:44 AM  
1 vote:
Heck, dont even pay a salary. Just release the drone control program online as a freeware "game". Crowdsource the airwar.
2012-07-13 10:33:01 AM  
1 vote:
Seeing as "real" pilots don't get much in the way of recognition when they put their lives one the line every day, I say they the UAV pilots can suck it. Impact LOA at the most. And definitely nothing for the States side ones.
2012-07-13 10:32:31 AM  
1 vote:
Nerve staples?

/OH! I thought you said 'Drone Riots'....
2012-07-13 10:31:45 AM  
1 vote:
Have they thought of medals? Some countries reward their military members with colorful ribbons with coin sized metal ornaments they allow their members to wear on their uniforms. They often will go out of their way to collect as many of these as they can. This is analogous to certain birds that gather shiny objects to ornament their nests.
2012-07-13 10:25:13 AM  
1 vote:
Let em wear berets.
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