"I see mothers with children, [...] I see kids playing soccer."

A Day in the Life of a Drone Pilot

#Health

Wed, Aug 1st, 2012 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

While U.S. Air Force drones have revolutionised modern warfare, the psychological effects experienced by their pilots -- sitting hundreds of miles away in front of rows of computer screens -- is having a detrimental impact on their morale and psyche.

Colonel Brenton acknowledges the peculiar new disconnect of fighting a telewar with a joystick and a throttle from his padded seat in American suburbia.

When he was deployed in Iraq, "you land and there's no more weapons on your F-16, people have an idea of what you were just involved with." Now he steps out of a dark room of video screens, his adrenaline still surging after squeezing the trigger, and commutes home past fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to help with homework -- but always alone with what he has done.

"It's a strange feeling," he said. "No one in my immediate environment is aware of anything that occurred."

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