At the end of fiscal year 2016 in September that year, the Air Force was short 1,544 pilots, of whom 1,211 were fighter pilots.

The service is also poised to lose 1,600 more fliers over the next four years, and the potential for that outflux has prompted a number of adjustments.

The Air Force has increased pay and bonuses while looking at broadening recruiting and adjusting assignments. Some officers have even said the service may implement stop-loss policies in order to retain pilots.