RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

March 4, 2009 -

Last month GamePolitics reported that one of the U.S. Army's top combat drone pilots in Iraq was a 19-year-old who learned his control skills playing Xbox.

Now comes word that Britain's Royal Air Force may employ gamers to control its combat drones in Afghanistan.

PressTV reports that the RAF hopes to save money by replacing pilots with less-skilled personnel:

The Royal Air Force (RAF) announced Saturday that pilots without full combat training will replace top guns in controlling unmanned Reaper planes in 'frontline missions' in Afghanistan as part of a plan to reduce costs...

Although a small mistake by the remote-controlled pilot can be lethal for civilians or friendly forces nearby, RAF chiefs, believe that 'lower grade' pilots with 30 hours' basic flying training can fly sensitive missions over Afghanistan...

It appears that RAF chiefs have based their claim on studies suggesting that the best drone crews are often young 'video-game players' rather than 'experienced fighter pilots'.


Comments

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

As long as I'm on the side with the robots, I'm fine with it.

Not really, this is a bad idea. At the very least we have conspiracy theories that games really do desensitize people to actual violence and killing in a permanent way. But it'll likely end up that the military starts releasing games that DO this, and recruits top players from those games.

It'd be like a recruiting post at a paintball or laser tag stadium. Video games are getting more immersive, and let's face it, with that immersion and better graphics comes more intense violence. It's the difference between flight of the valkyries played in a chiptune on an NES, and in 7.1 with a subwoofer the size of a small horse.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Drones have been used for years. It's only now that Drones and Gamers are mixing.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

War Games

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Damn you, "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots"! Can't we all just get along?

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Something about unmanned killing machines seems inherently unfair to me, even in war. Relative to a specific battle, the side with unmanned vehicles is risking only money but is still destroying human lives. It's the smart thing to do, of course, but it doesn't feel right.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

In the words of Tom Clancy: "Wars are ugly, their not supposed to be fair."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Well, just wait until all wars are fought with robots only. Then no lives are threatened.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots.  And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots. Thank you.
-- Military school Commandant's graduation address, "The Secret War of
   Lisa Simpson"

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Unless military targets such as weapons factories, government buildings and contested territories are themselves populated and operated exclusively by robots, there will always be human casualties.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Crimson Skies.


Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but we're already naked."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Colour me different but I don't like the RAF amiditing lower grade soilders to send to Afghanistan.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Ender's Game.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

I love that book.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Joy, soon we'll be hearing from certain people that they were right about the military and video games all along.

BTW, being a gamer won't automatically make you want to plow the drone into a school or release it's payload on a hospital.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

But don't you get more points that way?

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

I wouldn't kill people, not real people, the whole fun of games for me is the fact that it's safe.

If someone joins the RAF and has a history of gaming and wants to do this, then that's fine by me, as long as they don't start hunting around the general population for volunteers. Otherwhise, as EZK says, it starts to get eerily like the film Toys.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Is anyone else reminded of the movie Toys?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

Now I have an excuse to buy that $200 joystick and throttle control. I could tell my wife it's for national security. 

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

I think I just found my calling in life....

 

Check out my blog - http://serveratcapacity.blogspot.com

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone Sorties

My brother took a flying aptitude test at age 19 as well, passed with flying colors. They offered him a scholarship, etc.

Re: RAF May Replace Pilots with Gamers for Combat Drone ...

Can't lie, good idea...  I could be willing to do that depending on the missions.

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MechaCrashGee, how did people ever get the idea Gaters are morons who argue in bad faith? It's such a mystery.07/02/2015 - 7:03am
E. Zachary KnightGoth, again, no one is saying that we shouldn't be writig uncomfortable subject matter. What people are saying is that chances are you are going to write it poorly so it would be better to not have done it at all.07/02/2015 - 7:00am
Goth_Skunkdiscussed or portrayed in an expressive medium. Such an opinion only serves to stifle discussion. And as I said before, the only thing not worth talking about is what shouldn't be talked about.07/02/2015 - 6:50am
Goth_Skunk@Info: The same reason why I would entertain the notion that the Wired article writer could be right: Curiosity. Except in this case, I'm not curious at all. I'm not interested in hearing anyone's opinion on why uncomfortable subject matter shouldn't be07/02/2015 - 6:49am
IvresseI think the problem with the Batmobile is that they made it a core aspect of the game that you have to do continuously. If it was basically a couple of side games that were needed for secret stuff or a couple of times in the main game, it would be fine.07/02/2015 - 5:38am
Infophile@Goth: If you're not willing to entertain the idea you might be wrong, fine. That's your right. But why should anyone else entertain the idea that you might be right? If they go by the same logic, they already know you're wrong, so why listen to you?07/02/2015 - 3:53am
MattsworknameEh, I love the new batmobile personally, it's a blast to mess aroudn with. Plus, the game is set in a situation that mroe or less leaves batman with no choice but to go full force. And even then, it still shows him doing all he can to limit casualties.07/01/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
Goth_SkunkIf their products were garbage, they wouldn't be as praiseworthy as they are.07/01/2015 - 8:08pm
 

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