Academy cadets become UAV instructors

Cadet 2nd Class Jeremy Snell launches the RQ-11 Raven, a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial system at the Air Force Academy parade field. Cadets will soon become evaluators in the Academy's unmanned aerial system program.

Cadet 2nd Class Jeremy Snell launches the RQ-11 Raven, a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial system at the Air Force Academy parade field. Cadets will soon become evaluators in the Academy’s unmanned aerial system program. (Liz Copan/Air Force)

Some of the Air Force’s next generation of unmanned aerial vehicle pilots are likely to learn their skills from fellow cadets at the Air Force Academy.

In October, the academy for the first time made four junior cadets into instructors for its Unmanned Aircraft System Airmanship program, and one — Cadet 2nd Class Jacob Seabury — has also been made an evaluator. In an Oct. 27 interview, Col. John McCurdy, the director of the academy’s unmanned aerial vehicle programs, said three more juniors are likely to be approved as instructors in the next few weeks. More cadets could also be certified as evaluators as they distinguish themselves, he said.

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