Navy’s pilot shortage may be shored up by 2023, but then the real challenge begins

It will take the Navy at least four or five years until it can recapitalize its inventory of pilots, but by then the talent pool may be unpredictable. A recent report, which provides one of the most comprehensive pictures of the military-wide pilot shortage, shows the root of the Navy’s pilot problem is similar to the one the Air Force is facing. Both services are losing the retention battle with experienced pilots. A Defense Department report sent to Congress outlines a short fall of 1,242 aviator billets in the Navy – that includes pilots and navigators – in 2018. The service is experiencing higher than average pilot loss rates, especially in the mid and senior officer levels.