Air Force: Service will be short 1,000 fighter pilots
Stars and Stripes | .
published: August 11, 2016
WASHINGTON — The Air Force will face a shortage of 1,000 fighter pilots in the next few years, the Air Force’s top leadership said Wednesday. That is a significant jump from earlier announcements that it would be 700 fighter pilots short by the end of the year, and indicates that despite recent efforts to improve readiness, the fighter pilot shortage will continue to increase.
“It is a crisis,” said new Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein, who flew combat missions in the F-16 fighter jet and F-117 stealth fighter.
The pilot shortage is a result of lower pilot morale at a time when increased hiring by the commercial airline industry has made it more attractive to leave, Goldfein and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters at the Pentagon.
The lower morale is due to constant wartime deployments and reduced budgets, which has left non-deployed pilots without the funds or available aircraft to train with and stay current.
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