Keeping experienced pilots a critical concern for Air Force brass

A shortage of U.S. Air Force pilots has commanders thinking of new ways to keep veteran flyers in the cockpit amid worries that the situation is becoming a crisis.

Joint Base Charleston is looking at a “fly-only” track that would reduce pilot administrative duties. Better pay and shorter deployments are also considerations, said Col. Patrick Winstead, vice commander of the 437th Military Airlift Wing.

“We’ve seen this before. It’s not new to us but it is happening now,” he said. “Our monetary compensation doesn’t compete.”


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