Why fighter pilots will always be relevant to US military

In the age of drone warfare and relentless military cyberattacks, one former Top Gun instructor says fighter pilots will always be relevant.

Guy Snodgrass, a former naval aviator, told FOX Business' Stuart Varney that many skills possessed by fighter pilots are still valuable today, including dogfighting, especially when cyberattacks could inhibit the effectiveness of modern military aircraft like drones.

“In a lot of areas you want to have that human in the loop," Snodgrass said. "You want to have the man or woman who understands what is occurring in real-time. They can take a lot of information. They can see what is happening on the ground. They can assess the situation.”

Although technology has advanced to the extent that unmanned aircraft have started becoming more of a norm for military defense, Snodgrass said fighter jet pilots will remain especially relevant in circumstances where GPS systems are infiltrated, similar to the current situation in the Persian Gulf.

Iran has been jamming GPS signals for tankers and other ships in the Gulf, making transportation in the area incredibly difficult. Snodgrass said jamming ship GPS systems is a serious threat to a ship's ability to properly navigate in a busy waterway.

“As a combat pilot who flew missions from the Gulf, I can tell you it’s a congested waterway, a lot of ships. Not a lot of room for miscalculation,” he said.


Iran's cyberattacks and jamming in the Gulf is not necessarily a threat, Snodgrass said, but rather a continuation of the country's typical “nefarious” actions.

“They use any means available to sow discord in the region," he said. "Of course they are using cyberattacks, which has become, for many nations, the new normal to suffer from cyberattacks and to also conduct them.”