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Tue, Nov 14, 2017

SecAF Says Pilot Shortage Is Growing

Air Force Is Short Nearly 2,000 Pilots, Wilson Tell Reporters

The U.S. Air Force is short nearly 2,000 pilots, and is facing a potential readiness challenge, according to the Secretary of the Air Force.

PJ Media reports that in a briefing for Pentagon reporters, Secretary Heather Wilson said that the current pilot shortage has climbed to 1,926 pilots, and there are other issues as well. "It is spare parts and flying hours and munitions," she said. "So increasing the readiness of the force so that we win any fight, any time, is our top priority."

Wilson said that there is a significant burnout factor among active duty pilots because the force is "too small for all the missions that we're being asked to carry out on behalf of the nation."

She said that she recently spoke to an airman who recently returned from his 17th deployment. While "surge" has become the new norm for the USAF, the concept is only viable for a limited time.

"Less than one percent of Americans serve in uniform and protect the rest of us, and they are carrying a very heavy burden," Wilson said. "And at some point, families make a decision: that they just can't keep doing this at this pace, and I think that's the biggest thing we're facing, is we're burning out our people, because we're too small for what the nation is asking."

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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