Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
October 21st, 2017
Facing an acute shortage of pilots, the US Air Force can now recall up to 1,000 retired service members to help fill the gap thanks to an executive order signed by President Trump.
George W Bush originally created the emergency declaration allowing the recall of military pilots. President Trump’s order amends that declaration.
As things stood before the order, the Air Force can only legally recall 25 pilots. Trump’s order temporarily removes that cap for all branches of the military.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, told Fox News in a statement that the Air Force is currently “short approximately 1,500 pilots of its requirements.”
“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 3 years,” Ross said. “The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come.”
2 months ago, USAF Secretary Heather Wilson confirmed there was a shortfall of 1,555 pilots of its requirements, including 1,211 fighter pilots.
At the time, Wilson announced the Air Force was increasing incentive pay to officers and enlisted crew members for the first time in 18 years. The service also expanded its aviation bonus program to apply to include pilots who were out of contract.
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