‘Rank doesn’t matter, only ability:’ First all-enlisted crew operates RQ-4 Global Hawk in theater

An all-enlisted remotely piloted aircraft crew manned the RQ-4 Global Hawk out of Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates last month — signifying the first time a team composed only of enlisted airmen operated the aircraft downrange.

“Enlisted or officer, the responsibilities of the pilot are the exact same – safe and legal operation of the RQ-4 in international and national airspace,” said Master Sgt. Michael in an Air Force news release. “We are all trained and expected to demonstrate proficiency at all times. There’s no difference between ‘us and them.’ We are pilots, plain and simple.”

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