1,000th RPA student graduates
By Randy Martin, 12th Flying Training Wing
/ Published January 23, 2017
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Lt. Col. Jason Thompson, 558th Flying Training Squadron commander, presented 2nd Lt. Kevin a certificate commemorating the thousandth graduate of the Undergraduate Remotely Piloted Aircraft training program at Joint Base San Antonio–Randolph, Texas, Jan. 20, 2017.
The 558th Flying Training Squadron executes undergraduate instruction for all RPA pilots and sensor operators on their way to assignments in the Air Combat Command.
“RPAs continue to prove their value to warfighting commanders in the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and kinetic fight,” said Col. Joel Carey, 12th Flying Training Wing commander.
The Air Force called for increased output of qualified RPA pilots in 2015 and the 558 FTS responded by doubling the number of graduates in fiscal year 2017. Over $3 million dollars was invested in infrastructure and training simulators to support the effort and twenty-four new civilian and military instructors were assigned to what is the Air Force’s undergraduate RPA schoolhouse here.
“This is one more milestone of many in the 558 FTS’s history of excellence producing RPA pilots and sensor operators for the Combat Air Forces,” said Thompson.