The Air Force has been training Airmen to fly drones in an effort to counter the drone threat that is appearing on the modern battlefield. The goal of the program is to mimic enemy drone tactics so coalition forces can learn to defeat them.
The 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron teamed up with a researcher from the Air Force Research Lab to teach Airmen how to pilot drones and use them to train coalition forces on how to react to them on the battlefield.
“This is a brand new program for the wing, where we are able to test our counter-UAS systems coming into BAF, in addition to running base-wide exercises,” said 1st. Lieutenant Ryan Wilkerson, a researcher attached to the 455th ESFS.
“It’s exciting to be able to pilot these aircraft for a program no one has ever been a part of before,” said Senior Airman Christopher Gallman, 455th ESFS joint defense operations center. “I can’t wait to see where it is going and to be able to help out the total-force.”
The “pilots” wear aviator sunglasses and have an aura of swagger around them, as they take great pride in being at the forefront of tactical development.
“It’s fun and enjoyable to do, and knowing how beneficial it is to not only the base, but all of the force, makes it worth doing,” Gallman said. – US Air Forces Central Command
Featured images of Defenders from the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and a researcher from the Air Force Research Lab teaming up to bring a new program to Bagram Airfield. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gonsier