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Sensor Operator

Overview: Though no one is physically onboard, Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) have pilots and crew members located within control centers that are often thousands of miles away. As members of the crew on MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper vehicles, RPA Sensor Operators employ airborne sensors and sophisticated video imagery equipment to monitor airborne, maritime and ground objects.

Position: Enlisted


Specific Tasks:

  • Conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of potential targets and areas of interest 
  • Discriminate between valid and invalid targets using radar, electro-optical, low-light, infrared video imagery and other tracking systems 
  • Assist RPA pilots through all phases of mission


  • For entry into this specialty completion of high school is desirable
  • ASVAB score of 64 on General or 54 on Electrical
  • Normal color vision and either a Flying Class III Physical or Ground Based Aircraft Controller Physical  
  • Qualification for Aviation Service  
  • Eligibility for Top Secret security clearance


  • Candidates without prior military experience are required to attend 8.5 weeks of Basic Military Training (BMT) at JB San Antonio-Lackland, TX; followed by Technical Training 

Related Civilian Careers:

  • Electro-Mechanical Technicians