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Officer volunteers wanted for UAS

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Force officers are currently being sought to volunteer for unmanned aircraft system operators. Applications are due to Air Force Personnel Center no later than Nov. 3.

The first ten officers selected will start UAS operator training in January 2009, and another ten will begin training in April 2009.

The UAS is a big part of the future of the Air Force, said Air Force officials. First-hand knowledge of its capabilities and operations will be critical to future combat effectiveness as well as future Air Force leadership. Pilots flying operational missions or working in the Predator Operations Center get a unique perspective on world events, typically while such events are in progress.

In order to volunteer, officers must complete the test of basic aviation skills (TBAS) by Oct. 31. Testing locations that administer the TBAS can be found on the Pilot Candidate Selection Method Web site (Common Access Card is required to access this site).

In addition to the TBAS, officers must meet the following requirements:

-- Captains with 4-6 years total active federal commissioned service as of Jan. 5, 2009
-- Pilots are not eligible for this program
-- Combat System Officers, Panel Navigators, Electronic Warfare Officers, Weapons System
-- Officers, and Air Battle Managers are eligible to compete if they are not currently in training, awaiting training, or previously eliminated from UPT
-- Non-rated line officers are eligible
-- Be less than 30 years old Jan. 5, 2009
-- Air Force Officer Qualification Test minimum scores of pilot greater than twenty-five, combined pilot and navigator composites greater than fifty (if no AFOQT on file, complete the AFOQT by Oct. 31, 2008)
-- Two years time on station by July 1, 2009
-- No previous military pilot training experience

Volunteers meeting the criteria above and wanting to apply must complete the Aircrew Training Candidate Data Summery, Air Force Form 215, and electronically forward the completed form to Pipeline and Training Assignment Branch at specialflyingprogram@randolph.af.mil by 4 p.m. CST, Nov. 3, 2008. Group or squadron commanders (do not use a higher level) must provide their recommendations on the form. No other documentation will be accepted as part of the application process.

Interested officers that have questions about the application process, or the qualifications, can contact AFPC's Pipeline and Training Assignment Branch at (210) 565-2330, DSN 665-2330.

More information about this program can be found on the AFPC "Ask" site by entering "UAS" in the search engine. Individuals can also contact the 24-hour Air Force Contact Center at (800) 616-3775.