Air Force Warns It Is Short 1,926 Pilots
The U.S. Air Force is being stretched to the limit, with budget constraints and a growing pilot shortage, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told a news briefing on Thursday.
“The fiscal year ’18 continuing resolution is actually delaying our efforts to increase the readiness of the force,” Wilson said. “And risk accumulates over time, and you just don’t know exactly when things will break. But we are stretching the force to the limit, and we need to start turning the corner on readiness.”
Wilson said restoring readiness means lifting sequestration and hiring more people:
Last summer, we were reporting to people that we were about 1,500…pilots short in the Air Force, and we expected it to get worse.
As the fiscal year closed, we assessed where we were with respect to pilots. And I’m announcing today that, at the close of the last fiscal year, we were 1,926 pilots short. So almost…2,000 pilots short of a force that has 20,000 pilots. So that’s one in 10 that we’re short.
It’s not just pilots, though, and air crew, when it comes to readiness. It is spare parts and flying hours and munitions. So increasing the readiness of the force so that we win any fight, any time, is our top priority.
Wilson said burnout is one reason for the pilot shortage: “We are too small for all the missions that we’re beings asked to carry out on behalf of the nation,” she said. “And as a result, we’re burning out our people.” read more
SNIP: Thanks, 0bama.