Stress of combat reaches drone crews

A good question falls out from the experience of the Air Force with drone pilots that fly missions in war zones on the other side of the world.

“Crews sometimes see ground troops take casualties or come under attack. They zoom in on enemy dead to confirm casualties. Psychologically, they’re in the middle of combat. But physically most of them are on another continent, which can lead to a sense of helplessness.

“That lack of control is one of the main features of producing stress,” said Air Force Col. Hernando Ortega, who discussed results of a survey of Predator and Reaper crews at a recent conference inWashington, D.C. They ask themselves, he said: “Could I have done better? Did I make the right choices?”….”

Now think in terms of a person in prison who has no control over their environment and living in a room with 80 plus roomies in a prison dorm. Not for just one night but for an average sentence of 5 years. This will give new meaning to stress that is not at all unlike the drone pilots in the US flying drones in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Stress of combat reaches drone crews

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