Facing a massive shortage, the United States Air Force is launching an incentive program to retain experienced pilots and bring back retirees, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“We can’t afford not to compensate our talented aviators at a time when airlines are hiring unprecedented numbers.” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson in a statement.
The Air Force was 1,555 pilots short at the end of fiscal 2016. That includes 1,211 total force fighter pilots.
And the shortfall is expected to grow.
The first initiative is a hike in the aviation incentive pay, called “flight pay,” for both officer and enlisted aviators.
It’s the first such increase since 1999. But effective Oct. 1, there will be new pay enhancements, including $1,000 a month for those with more than 12 years in aviation service.
The second program is the 2017 Aviation Bonus Program that targets pilots who have no contract or whose contract has expired.
The third is the rated return to active duty program that brings retired pilots back into service to fill positions.