This is just dumb on the part of the USAF:
The U.S. Air Force recently reduced its UAV operations by eight percent because it was not unable to train enough new operators. Part of the problem is stress, as it has been discovered that the intensity of watching the ground constantly was more stressful to pilots (operators who control the UAV and fire weapons) and sensor operators (who constantly scour the ground below) than for their counterparts who go into the air than anticipated. Earlier in 2015 the air force sought to deal with problem by asking Congress for more money to pay bonuses to attract more UAV operators and keep the overworked ones it has. Most of the $35,000 a year in bonus money was to be “flight pay” for air force pilots who volunteer or are persuaded to serve as UAV operators. This was the solution that did not work and many in Congress were reluctant to just throw money at the problem when the air force had an easier and cheaper solution for this; allow enlisted (sergeants) airmen be used to operate UAVs and allow them to make a career out of it. The air force used to do this, during World War II when it was still part of the army. But that was changed during World War II and the air force refuses to consider going back to what worked in the past, even though it works fine for the other services and some other countries.
What a waste — there are plenty of talented, trained, and hardworking NCOs who could take the pressure off of these stressed and overworked Air Force officers.