Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz has been appointed to serve as head of Air Education and Training Command, replacing current commander Gen. Robin Rand.
The Defense Department announced the move on Thursday afternoon. Keltz currently serves as the commander of the 19th Air Force, an AETC numbered Air Force whose mission ranges from entry-level undergraduate flying training to advanced combat crew training.
In related AETC news, the command has signaled interest in potentially transitioning its undergraduate remotely piloted aircraft training syllabus from the T-6 flight simulator to a "universal RPA simulator." As Inside the Air Force reports this morning:
Training officials say a new system would ideally combine the most important aspects of the T-6 simulator, which is traditionally used for manned flight training, with the desktop computer-based Predator Reaper Integrated Mission Environment (PRIME) simulator.
The move to a universal RPA simulator would support other Air Force efforts to normalize the RPA pilot and sensor operator training pipeline -- which is still in its infancy compared to the more established syllabuses for fighter, bomber and mobility pilots.
In an Oct. 3 interview with Inside the Air Force, AETC RPA Training Branch Chief Jeffrey Wiseman described the current process for training undergraduate RPA pilots and sensor operators and suggested some changes his organization would like to see implemented in the future, such as moving from the T-6 and PRIME simulators to one simulator cockpit specifically designed for RPA training.
AETC, headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base, TX, is responsible for the undergraduate portion of RPA training, which is platform agnostic by design. Students who pass through AETC's Undergraduate RPA Training (URT) course go on to receive more specialized, platform-specific training at Air Combat Command's various MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-4 Global Hawk formal training units.