The Air Force’s official blog posted a Top 10 list of myths about Remotely Piloted Aircraft that included a reassurance that RPA technology is not extraterrestrial in origin.
“Myth: RPAs are made from alien technology and are flown from area 51. Fact: The U.S. Air Force actually has a long history of unmanned flight and we are still learning new and better ways to fly. We will continue to improve our methods of training, conducting operations and employing new weapon systems,” the blog post reads, adding that Creech Air Force Base in Nevada is the main site of RPA operations, with several other bases providing support.
The list also debunks a few somewhat more common myths including that RPAs don’t require pilots, or that the pilots who do fly the craft are disconnected from the missions and treat it like a video game.
“Our Airmen are trained to be the best pilots in the world, regardless of aircraft,” the blog post says. “Our fully qualified aircrews consistently exceed expectations for both flight safety and operational effectiveness. Like pilots in manned aircraft RPA pilots are required to meet the same qualifications. New RPA pilots undergo a very intense training program before they fly operational missions.”
The post concludes with Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the leader of Air Combat Command, who says “despite being some of the newest weapon systems in the Air Force inventory, RPAs fulfill critical demands in every theater 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”