Members of the Air Force's first class of officers with no previous flying experience who learned in 2009 how to operate MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft have begun flying Predator combat missions over Southwest Asia, Gen. Stephen Lorenz, Air Education and Training Command boss, said at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 19, 2010. This group of eight graduates began their RPA training in January 2009 under a beta test program to gauge whether this set-up was a viable way for the Air Force to quickly bolster its RPA pilot ranks. Here, an MQ-1 flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan.
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