Different Firsts for Coast Guard UAS Pilots

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The Coast Guard Compass blog ran a Guardian of the Week feature on November 6 about LT Thomas Shuler being the first operational UAS pilot. We have since received a comment challenging LT Shuler’s status as the first operational UAS pilot and citing CDR Jose (Tony) Saliceti as the first qualified Coast Guard UAS pilot. We researched the issue further with the Office of Aviation Forces (CG-711) and clarified that LT Shuler is indeed the first “operational” Coast Guard UAS pilot. However, CDR Saliceti was the first qualified Coast Guard UAS pilot, having received training during a developmental/engineering phase of the UAS program. We were also informed that CDR Saliceti was designated as Coast Guard Predator Mission Control Element Pilot number 1 and LT Shuler as Coast Guard Predator Mission Control Element Pilot number 2.

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