At the end of fiscal year 2016 in September that year, the Air Force had 1,555 fewer pilots than it needed, including 1,211 missing fighter pilots.

That shortfall is expected to increase, and the service has considered a number of steps to shore up its ranks, including broader recruiting, changing training requirements, increased bonuses, and even stop-loss policies.

The Air Force is also looking for outside contractors to provide “red air,” or adversary training, support.

According to a release issued on Friday, the Air Force is now looking to have retired pilots return to the service for up to 12 months in positions that require qualified pilots, an initiative called Voluntary Rated Return to Active Duty, or VRRAD.

The service is looking for up to 25 retired fliers of any pilot specialty code — which includes bomber, fighter, helicopter, tanker, and remotely operated aircraft pilots — to fill “critical-rated staff positions” and allow active-duty pilots to stay with units where they are needed to meet mission requirements, the release said.

 

Read the whole story from Business Insider.

Featured image courtesy of U.S. Air Force

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