Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced legislation today to require the Air Force to take steps to reduce physical and mental stress on members of Nevada’s remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) community and their families.
“I am proud to introduce legislation that prioritizes the concerns of many of Nevada’s service members,” said Cortez Masto. “I have continually called on the Air Force to ensure that Nevada’s RPA pilots are provided with the appropriate level of rest and adequate services so they can maintain their health and their readiness. Men and women in the RPA community are defending our country every day. We must keep working to ensure they have access to the same benefits other combat service members receive.”
Senator Cortez Masto introduced the following legislation to the Armed Services Committee to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2018.
- Monitoring of Ongoing Challenges in Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Community
- This bill requires the Air Force to incrementally reduce stressors and improve the workload on RPA bases as it works to implement a combat-to-dwell policy by 2024. The RPA community faces special stresses due to the high operational tempo and round the clock staffing to meet unrelenting demand for RPA support. Often their daily duties within the U.S. at places like Nellis or Creech Air Force Bases, include conducting airstrikes followed by returning to their families the same day. A combat-to-dwell policy will ensure they receive adequate noncombat time to mitigate the mental and physical fatigue associated with combat duty.
- This bill also ensures that military instillations are providing adequate services to the RPA community, including access to housing, childcare, quality schools and spousal employment opportunities.