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McCain Urges Pentagon to Provide Sufficient Training for Drone Pilots

CC BY-SA 2.0 / KAZ Vorpal / Predator KAZUS Predator drone
US Predator drone - Sputnik International
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The US Department of Defense should implement standardized training for pilots of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones, US Senators John McCain and Jack Reed said in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On May 14, 2015, the Government Accountability Office report stated that US Army and Air Force need to upgrade training of military drones' operators. The report also noted that the US Army does not understand the extent to which its own pilots are insufficiently prepared for deployment.

“We urge you to focus senior leaders in the Department [of Defense] on these issues, and develop and implement a coherent UAS organizational, manpower and training strategy.”

© Flickr / US Air ForceBoth Bank and CIA legal counsel John Rizzo were charged with murder by a court in Pakistan earlier this month, over the death of two residents of the North Waziristan region who died in a CIA drone attack in December 2009.
Both Bank and CIA legal counsel John Rizzo were charged with murder by a court in Pakistan earlier this month, over the death of two residents of the North Waziristan region who died in a CIA drone attack in December 2009. - Sputnik International
Both Bank and CIA legal counsel John Rizzo were charged with murder by a court in Pakistan earlier this month, over the death of two residents of the North Waziristan region who died in a CIA drone attack in December 2009.

McCain and Reed called the lack of standardized program for drone pilots unacceptable.

They argued a training strategy would ensure “combatant commanders get the highly trained and proficient operators of these systems they need to protect [US] warfighters and defeat adversaries.”

The US military has been increasingly reliant on drones to conduct operations in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Critics, however, have slammed use of drones as being responsible for killing a significant number of civilians and destroying infrastructure unrelated to terrorists.

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