Air Force: Trump's Plan to Aid Pilot Shortage Will Not Work

The Air Force said Tuesday it will not use President Trump’s recent executive order to involuntarily recall retired pilots to fill a shortage that has now reached 2,000, saying the short-term return stint doesn’t fully meet the military’s needs.

Trump’s Oct. 20 order changes U.S. law to increase the number of pilots that can return for three-year duty to 1,000 from 25.

“We appreciate the flexibility, but we want pilots with more than just a three-year commitment,” an Air Force spokesman said.

The spokesman also said the Air Force ideally wants a 10- to 20-year “flying commitment,” while acknowledging the challenges of losing pilots to better paying, commercial jobs.


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