Friday, August 08, 2008

You've Got To Be Kidding Me...

From Danger Room

Flying drones from halfway across the world used to be considered a cushy, if somewhat sterile, military job. But the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone on for so long -- and become so dependent on the satellite-piloted planes -- that Air Force commanders have had to call in chaplains, psychologists and psychiatrists "to help ease the mental strain on these remote-control warriors," the Associated Press reports.

Just a few years ago, pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) crowed that "most of the time, I get to fight the war, and go home and see the wife and kids at night." Since then, the demands for remotely-flown spy planes have grown exponentially. Pilots' hours grew longer and longer. And they started to compare themselves to "prisoner[s] with [l]ife sentence[s]."

That's taking things to a whiny extreme. The chair-bound flyboys still have it pretty good, compared to the grunts of the Army or the Marines: No 15-month tours, no crappy rations, no chance of them or their friends getting blown up. But the constant back-and-forth between war and peace isn't without its unique strains. "It is quite different, going from potentially shooting a missile, then going to your kid's soccer game," sighs Lt. Col. Michael Lenahan...

This is just un-f#%king believable.

From the original article at The Boston Globe comes this doozy of an opening paragraph:

Remote-control warriors suffer battle stress at a distance
Psychologists, chaplains ease mental strain
By Scott Lindlaw
Associated Press / August 8, 2008
MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. - The Air National Guardsmen who operate Predator drones over Iraq via remote control, launching deadly missile attacks from the safety of Southern California 7,000 miles away, are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield.

Considering the source I'm willing to give some benefit of the doubt, but who the hell thought that this would be a good story to put out will certainly endear them to their 11B brothers in arms that's for sure.

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