In an upcoming report headed to the Pentagon, Hoagland will suggest some fixes for his higher-ups to consider.
As the Air Force's drone program grows, so does the importance of pilot selection. What started in 2004 as five drone combat patrols — four aircraft each — will to swell to 65 patrols by 2014. By 2010, Predators had logged more than a million combat hours, more than any other military bird. And today's population of 1,300 combat drone pilots will be joined by 500 more in the next few years.