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U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce Introduces ‘Protecting Wounded Warriors Right To Serve Act’

on November 30, 2017 - 4:40am
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce introduced H.R. 4453, the “Protecting Wounded Warriors Right To Serve Act”, which enables Wounded Warriors to continue serving in the emerging field of Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPA), regardless of their military branch.
“Today’s service men and women face dangers in an ever-evolving battlefield, including IEDs, suicide bombers, and a host of brutal tactics that have left countless soldiers permanently injured. Many times, these men and women want to continue serving their country, but are unable to due to their combat or service related injuries,” Pearce said. Wounded Warriors have sacrificed greatly for our nation. The least we can do is provide them with the ability to continue to serve our nation, and my bill provides the opportunity to do just that.
Passage of H.R. 4453 will result in the creation of a program for Wounded Warriors to continue their service in the emerging field of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) as both pilots and operators. RPA’s have changed the way our nation is able to support and assist our troops in harm’s way. They play a critical role in the global reach of the Air Force by providing unique airstrike capabilities, over watch, target development, disaster relief, close air support, and play various other roles for the nation’s deployed forces. The demand for troops in this field is ever expanding.”
H.R. 4453 streamlines the process for transferring Wounded Warriors to the Air Force and creates a process to pipeline them into the RPA field to serve as pilots and sensor operators. There is an RPA pilot shortage for Officers, as well as, a sensor operators’ shortage for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO)s and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs).
RPA pilot and sensor operator manning levels have dwindled due to the constant deployment posture, nature of the mission, and the dual emergence of the private RPA/UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) sector.