ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Drone Pilots Pilot Pilotless Air Force Drones

Updated on September 2, 2012

Some call it the "Joystick" war. It is a type of future war, using remote piloted drones to conduct surveillance and attack enemy targets. They are small, quiet and fly so high, they are nearly invisible. Their cameras watch, zoom in on faces, follow. When the time is right, an order is given and a missile streaks from nowhere into a human killing them, maybe others nearby. But the most unique thing about drones over Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever is that many of them of steered, piloted from the East Coast of America. The drone is based in Afghanistan or nearby, the pilot of it is 7000 miles away in a small room with 3-4 screens, computers. For the pilots of the drones, there is an odd disconnect with what they do, especially when orders come to take the target out. They kill someone, a person with a family and kids riding a scooter somewhere 7000 miles away, then, leave the work, get in the car, go home, and help his kids with homework. Usually, there are two operators controlling the drone-the pilot and the camera operator. Sometimes, surveillance lasts days or weeks, and the drone voyeurs, intrude on the suspects family life and wait until the target is alone to kill him. Sometimes, the pilot of the drone begins to see bad things that maybe they have done themselves. This makes pulling the trigger to kill a problem.

When the target is destroyed, few pilots relish it. They just convince themselves it is for the better, for America, but they never forget. Most state they seldom lose sleep over pulling the trigger. Orders are orders.

The Air Force has about 1300 drone pilots and they need more. Drones fly over Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan. These pilots fly drones 24\7. They are training more drone pilots than real aircraft pilots now. New pilots go through 40 hours of training in a Cessna aircraft before they train for being a drone pilot. Of course, many of the current pilots are real pilots that once flew F-15s etc. Many times, drone pilots will watch a target for six hours until the right moment for the kill.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Good question, I am sure there are checks and approvals before the OK is given.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      The mission these remote pilots have is sad indeed. But at the same time, it is a necessary evil that needs to be used in fight terrorists, if done right.

      I wonder who actually makes the judgement call to decide when to fire on a suspect, even when they may have their family within fire range?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)