In the first graduation ceremony of its kind four RAF pilots have been awarded their specialised RPAS pilots badge at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, USA. The graduation follows the announcement in December by the RAF of the creation of a specialised flying branch for those flying Remotely Piloted Aircraft. The announcement was recognition within the RAF of the growing complexity and capability of Remotely Piloted Air Systems and their increasingly pivotal role on operations.
As a sub-specialisation within the RAF Flying branch those who qualify are known as RPAS pilots. To identify qualified RPAS pilots a dedicated RPAS pilot badge has been created, which differs only slightly from the design of the current RAF pilot badge by having blue laurel leaves to identify the specialisation.