The U.S. military is starting to put as much emphasis on unmanned drones as it does on traditional piloted aircraft, and as a result is changing the way it trains flight crews.
Pentagon officials say they want to instill a "warrior culture" in the men and women who remotely operate drones, despite the fact that they are often thousands of miles from the war zones, The Los Angeles Times
"We are rewriting the Air Force's DNA," Chief Master Sgt. Victor Allen told the newspaper.
In the past the military required operators to interpret satellite imagery and data obtained in flight by the Predators, Reapers and other drones.
Under the revamped training finished this month, the analysis is left for later as the two-person crew focuses on flying the aircraft and targeting its lasers to guide missiles and bombs.
"They need to understand the battle space. They need to understand working with a crew," Allen told the Times. "This is absolutely flying a vehicle, and we want someone dedicated to this duty."
The Air Force has proposed a fleet of more than 200 unmanned planes, enough to have 65 in the air at one time. Officials hope to assemble a crew of 2,500 to operate them all.