Monday, October 28, 2013

Confessions of a Drone Operator

When most people think of drones they think about an aircraft carrying out attacks in remote areas without putting pilots in danger. However, there is a team of people behind those aircraft who, free from the physical dangers of the battlefield, are nevertheless susceptible to the psychological toll of war.

In the above video, listen to the story of Brandon Bryant, who served as a drone operator in Nevada and New Mexico for five years. In the interview, he describes his role in drone attacks overseas and his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.  

Though not physically in contact with his targets, the monitor on his screen provides sufficient stimulation to induce psychological effects similar to soldiers on the ground.  Moreover, the temporal contiguity between his actions in the bunker and the consequences of his behavior depicted on the screen likely play a dominant role in his post-traumatic stress.



1 comment:

  1. I've never really thought about this. You consider drone pilots to be safe physically, but you don't think about the psychological effects that are still taking effect on the soldier. Very intriguing video/blog.

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