The US Air Force plans to recall up to 1000 retired pilots to active duty following the signing of a Presidential executive order Friday.
"We anticipate that the secretary of defense will delegate the authority to the secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement as quoted by news agencies.
The Air Force has complained for years that it is struggling to retain pilots, who are often lured away by better-paying commercial airlines and leave the force due to the strains of extended deployments.
The Air Force was 1,555 pilots short at the end of fiscal 2016, which includes 1,211 total force fighter pilots–with the deficit expected to grow, the force had announced in August. Additionally, General Stephen Wilson, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, told lawmakers this year that the service is short of 1,555 pilots and 3,400 aircraft maintainers.
In August this year, the Air Force had announced three additional initiatives designed to keep pilots in the service and bringing retired pilots back to fill critical-rated positions.
The first is an increase in the aviation incentive pay, commonly called flight pay, for both officer and enlisted aviators for the first time since 1999, effective Oct. 1, 2017. The second is an expansion of the fiscal year 2017 Aviation Bonus Program to include non-contracted and contract-expired pilots that began Aug. 4, 2017. The third is the rated return to active duty program which brings retired pilots back into the service to fill critical-rated staff positions that began Aug. 11, 2017.
Recently, the US government had turned down a request from Turkey to send instructor-pilots to train fresh F-16 pilots for replacing those sacked on suspicion of participating in the July 2016 coup.
The senior leaders of the United States Air Force discussed alternative methods of aviator training and requirement initiatives to address shortage of over 1500 pilots in its aircrew units that has left Americas aerial warfighting branch scrambling to find a way to stop decline in skilled aviators. The 2017 Aircrew Summit held on September 22 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, had air force senior leaders from the headquarters, major commands and other experts discussed strategies, plans and initiatives falling under the ACTFs seven lines of effort: requirements, accessions, production, absorption, retention, sortie production and industry collaboration
The UKs Royal Air Force drone pilots who fight against Islamic State terrorists could be awarded medals for serving the nation. "The changing character of warfare provides new challenges; not just about how we fight but also how we recognize and support those who serve,” UKs Defense Secretary Michael Fallon was quoted as saying by
China has started a training program to prepare a new generation of pilots to fly the J-20 jet fighter and Yun-20 transport aircraft. More than a thousand new cadets have been inducted into China's Air Force Aviation University
Plotters of the July 15, 2016 coup sabotaged health of Turkish Air force F-16 pilots by giving them unnecessary blood pressure control pills, according to a prosecutors indictment regarding Gülenist activities at the Gülhane Military Hospital. Pilots who took the pills were disqualified from flying in subsequent medical tests, according the indictment proceedings
The United States has refused to send Instructors to train new pilots for Turkeys F-16 fighter aircraft after Ankara sacked more than half of the existing pilots for participating in the 2016 coup attempt against the Erdogan regime. In addition, Washington has prevailed upon Pakistan not to send its F-16 instructors to Turkey
Australia's Chief of Air Force has completed first flight in the Lockheed Martin's AIR 5428 Pilatus PC-21 Pilot Training System. The Chief of Air Force's first flight of the in-service Pilatus PC-21 aircraft was shown at a media event hosted by Australian Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne, in East Sale, Australia yesterday
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