Other than being 5 years old, Leper colony link: http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20080929/NEWS/809290335/Hundreds-of-Reaper-Predator-pilots-needed
Very bottom of the page: Not a U.S. Government Publication, so to Google we go.
UAV career field takes flight
Nonrated officers, retirees, trainees and...
Hundreds of Reaper, Predator pilots needed
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 29, 2008 13:03:17 EDT
The Air Force will soon have nonrated officers flying combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan.
Granted, it won’t be in an F-16 cockpit but behind a joystick 6,000 miles away, flying an MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper from Nevada or New Mexico.
Bottom line: These new career unmanned aerial vehicle pilots will be dropping bombs in combat and flying a 10,000-pound aircraft in a congested airspace without completing undergraduate pilot training.
Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz announced the new UAV pilot career field Sept. 16 — part of a two-pronged approach to fill the Air Force’s need for hundreds of UAV pilots.
But the service also will explore the possibility of luring retired and recently separated pilots back into uniform to fly UAVs, and the idea of allowing enlisted personnel to fly UAVs has yet to be ruled out, according to Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley. A decision on that is expected within 90 days.