air force pilots
Go to triangular compass
Left arrow

Air Force Needs Pilots

Active Military
Active Military
Veteran News
Veteran News
September 22, 2017
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin
Copy Link

Stay Up to Date on American Grit

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The United States Air Force, the definitive leader in global aerospace technologically advanced warplanes, has no pilots. The Air Force fell short of its goal of 20,300 pilots and is expected to still be short this month by one thousand fliers. That is one thousand, multi-million dollar planes that are collecting dust and not being used to protect our nation.

Unfortunately, a lack of pilots is not exactly a new phenomenon. The Air Force has been having a problem with keeping pilots for quite some time. It has been dubbed a “quiet crisis” by Air Force officials. As much crud as the Air Force takes, the men on the ground sure are grateful when an A-10 comes in providing badly needed air support. Unfortunately, all the pilots are finding more lucrative and beneficial careers outside of the Air Force, which is hardly a “quiet crisis.” If we’re being honest about the situation, this is a complete mission critical problem.Lt. Gen. Daryl Roberson, head of Air Education Training and Command states that we basically lack the training personnel, equipment and viable pilot candidates to accommodate the Air Force’s needs. As the head of Air Education Training and Command, he certainly has insight into the dilemma and notes that they “have to figure out a way to produce pilots that is outside the resource capacity of the United States Air Force.” Lt. Gen. Roberson also discussed his thoughts on a national pilot training academy as one way to address the shortage which would be “partially funded by airlines, industry, and military.” The thought behind this is that some pilots would have a mandatory service time and others would go straight to commercial flight to ease the burdens on both. “We have to build a construct, as a nation, on how we’re going to get at producing the number of pilots we need long-term,” says Roberson in discussing the idea of the national academy. We have all of these solutions proposed, yet they are still short on pilots. That leads us to the question: Why don’t people want to fly jets anymore? Moreover, why are pilots now deferring from breaking sound barriers to breaking open bags of peanuts?

Maybe the old joke about the Air Force is actually true. Maybe, the Air Force really does spend all their money on troop welfare when building a base. Then when they run out of money, they petition congress for more money to build a runway. So how is it that the nicest bases, with the best creature comforts and golf courses, can’t seem to keep the bulk of what makes up their fighting men in service?It all points to a small service stretched too thin. Going on almost twenty years of war, the planes are being driven like rental cars with hours and hours of operational time piling up on any given airframe, training or otherwise. You have combat deployments of your aircrews on what seems to be a never-ending basis, and your pilots are fatigued and away from home. Should it be a surprise that our talented pilots are happy to jump to a commercial airline gig as soon as they are able? No. One solution that has been to delegate more authority to small unit commanders. Instead of making decisions higher up in the chain, allow the squadron commanders to facilitate and deem what their aircrews need in terms of rest. A small unit commander will always know more about his individual pilots than a general far away in an office will. They know their limits, when they can be pushed and when they should be rested. Regardless of that, this growing problem certainly needs to be addressed as more demands might be made on the Air Force in the very near future. Maybe the answer lies in our past in the romantic days of the fighter pilot, when the Air Force was all about its pilots and not all about the many other missions it has decided to take on.Read more news articles here.

send a letter to congress
Adds section
Next Up
No items found.