The investigation, led by Lt. General Marc Rogers, the Air Force Inspector General (IG), is part of a larger effort to identify additional problems after it was learned that 78 cadets at the Air Force Academy were caught cheating on an online test.
In a memo drafted by a Pakistani typist hired through oDesk for $2.35 per hour, Air Force officials said they were “extremely disturbed” by the initial findings.
“We thought 78 cadets cheating was just a small blip on the radar,” said Lt. Col John Bryan, Director of Public Affairs at the Academy, “but we wanted to make sure that there weren’t any other issues.”
The cheating scandal was only the beginning which led the IG to other troublesome conduct, which the investigators have said resembled “frat-house behavior.”
One incident in the report details a UAV pilot, identified only as a Major, showing up to work “extremely hungover.” Later that day he flew his MQ-1 Predator Drone past Pakistani and Indian airspace all the way to Sri Lanka before realizing there was a problem.
He even launched one of the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles directly at the sun because he “wanted to know what it would do.”
Another incident involving an F-22 pilot showed that there was also a problem of what the Inspector General called “air-to-air cheating.”
“The pilot in this incident allegedly wrote down a ‘cheat sheet’ on his arm in black pen with all missiles aboard his aircraft and how to use them,” said Lt. Col Bryan. “We try to teach memorization of this stuff at the academy, but I suppose it’s a new Air Force, right?”
Some believe the issues move to the highest levels of the chain of command.
“Actually, most of our UAV’s are piloted by drone operators in New Delhi,” said Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz. “You really can’t beat $4 an hour to be flying 24-hour missions out there.”
The General continued to read from his statement, written for him by a Chinese-born English major.
“These problems are being identified, and they will be fixed. Make no mistake.”
Schwartz then left the briefing early, saying he had to get back to “the hookers in his room before they charge him for time wasted.”