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Airlines’ Hiring Push Is About To Make Military Pilot Shortage A Lot Worse
Editor’s Note: The story by Wayne Heilman originally appeared in the The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (Tribune News Service).
A Rand Corp. study has found the Air Force could lose more pilots in coming years amid a hiring surge and salary increases by the nation's largest airlines.
Military pilots are a likely target as American, Delta and United all boost pilot hiring during the next 20 years to replace their aging workforces, the California-based military issues think tank said in a study released Tuesday.
Trisha Guillebeau, an Air Force spokeswoman in Virginia, said Thursday in an email that the pilot retention in the Air Force has declined for three consecutive years and resulted in a shortage of qualified pilots, which is most acute for fighter aircraft. As a result, she said, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein in September ordered a redesign of the service's fighter aircraft operations to "focus on developing a strategy and implementation plan to ensure the Air Force has an enduring, proficient and sufficient fighter pilot force."
Guillebeau said the Air Force this year came up with and is putting into practice recommendations that include making deployments more efficient, adding administrative support in flying squadrons, adding maintenance staff to utilize aircraft better and increasing assignment flexibility.
She said the service also has asked Congress to increase all aviation retention pay in response to less than half of fighter pilots accepting retention bonuses last year and that percentage declining again this year.
The airlines' recruiting push, which includes increasing pilot pay by more than 20 percent since 2014, is expected to produce a shortage of qualified military pilots unless the Department of Defense nearly doubles the extra pay it gives to pilots.
"Former military pilots aren't the only hiring pool for commercial airlines, but our research shows that when commercial airlines hire more pilots, the number of Air Force pilots leaving military service tends to rise," Michael Mattock, lead author of the study, said in a news release.
The best opportunities for salary growth for military pilots are when they leave at the end of their active-duty service commitment of 10 years, rather than after a full 20-year military career that earns them a pension, the study found. Those pilots would still be valuable to the Air Force if they remained in the military, but they can earn a salary of more than $180,000 annually within five years of leaving the service, Mattock said.
To avoid a shortage, the Department of Defense would have to increase pilot retention pay from a maximum of $25,000 annually to between $38,500 and $62,500, Rand calculated.
The study, "Retaining Air Force Pilots When the Civilian Demand for Pilots is Growing," is available at www.rand.org.
© 2016 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A 1,900-year-old scrap of papyrus proves that while warfare may change, the bureaucratic bullshit that comes with military life does not.
If you run across Army veteran Del Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, over the next couple of weeks, offer to buy him a beer.
No, seriously — it's all he's can have until mid-April.
WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Monday accused Russia of "reckless escalation" of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions.
Victory over ISIS has come at a tremendous cost for America's Kurdish and Arab allies in Syria.
More than 11,000 Syrian Democratic Forces fighters were killed and 21,000 others wounded fighting ISIS, the group announced on Saturday following the group's formal liberation of ISIS' last enclave in Syria.
A 69-year-old policy keeps troops from suing the US for medical malpractice. It's closer to being overturned than ever before
In March 2014, at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, Navy Lt. Rebekah "Moani" Daniel was admitted to have her first child. A labor and delivery nurse who worked at the facility, she was surrounded by friends and co-workers when daughter Victoria entered the world.
But four hours later, the 33-year-old was dead, having lost more than a third of her body's volume of blood to post-partum hemorrhaging. Her husband's attorney argues that the doctors failed to deploy treatments in time to halt the bleeding, leading to her death.
Her baby, now 5, never felt her mom's embrace.
This Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a petition from Moani Daniel's husband, Walter Daniel, in his case against the Navy hospital where his wife died. Like every other service member, Daniel was required to get medical care from the U.S. military, but her family is prohibited from suing for medical malpractice, barred by a 69-year-old legal ruling known as Feres that precludes troops from suing the federal government for injuries deemed incidental to military service.
"Suppose you had two sisters. One was on active duty and the other was a military dependent. Both of them give birth in adjoining rooms at the same military hospital [by the same doctor]. Both are victims of malpractice. One can sue and the other one can't. How can that make sense?" asked attorney Eugene Fidell, a former Coast Guard judge advocate general and military law expert who lectures at Yale Law School.