Trump executive order lets Air Force recall up to 1,000 retired pilots

Trump’s executive order signed Friday amends emergency powers signed by President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks on September 11. Last month, Trump extended the post-9/11 emergency powers.

According to the Pentagon, the Air Force is usually currently short by about 1,500 pilots.

“This particular is usually a national pilot crisis, not just a military crisis or an Air Force crisis,” Brig. Gen. Mike Koscheski, the Air Force’s Aircrew Crisis Task Force director, told CNBC in an interview last week. “The Air Force is usually partnering with industry to look for ways to just increase pilot production overall…because in which’s going to be inside interest of the country — not just the military.”

some other branches of the U.S. military also need more pilots, including the Navy, as well as the executive order signed Friday could be used later to help address those challenges.

Friday’s executive order gives Defense Secretary James Mattis “additional authorities to recall retired aviation officers regardless of certain limitations on status, period of service, as well as numbers to mitigate the Air Force’s acute shortage of pilots,” Ross said.

Even before the presidential order, the Air Force was able to rehire up to 25 retired officers under what’s known as the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty program as well as bring them back to active duty in critical aviation-related staff positions. Trump’s executive action, though, allows the Air Force to temporarily exceed the limit of 25 rehires.

The military’s pilot shortage crisis has been compounded by pilot shortages inside commercial airline industry, which offers aggressive pay. Also, the pilot shortage isn’t limited to the U.S. although is usually a worldwide problem anticipated to continue for years to come.

Between 2017 as well as 2036, the planet’s commercial aviation industry will need 637,000 completely new commercial airline pilots, according to a Boeing forecast released in July. U.S. pilots have a mandatory retirement age of 65, as well as the shortage of pilots poses a serious challenge particularly for regional airlines.

The Air Force is usually responding to the pilot shortage with various incentive programs to keep officers in uniform longer, including “a 100 percent promotion opportunity” program launching later This particular year. There’s also an aviator retention pay bonus worth up to $350,000 over a 10-year term.

Still, pay isn’t always a deciding factor for pilots to leave the military. Family considerations as well as longer deployments also factor into decisions.

Koscheski said the military has increasingly offered retention initiatives in which focus on work-life balance as well as quality of life.

“We’re looking to provide more time for the air crew member to have with their family as well as some work time at home,” he said, before cautioning in which “there’s limits to in which based on mission requirements.”

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