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Here’s where the Air Force’s pilot shortfall is the worst

Despite the Air Force’s full-court press in recent years to close its persistent and troubling pilot shortfall, the gaps in crucial categories remain — and in some cases, have worsened.

The Air Force closed out 2019 with roughly 1 in 10 bomber, fighter and special operations pilot billets vacant, according to statistics the service provided at Air Force Times’ request.

And in two cases, the manning situation is consistently heading in the wrong direction. Among 11B bomber pilots, for example, the Air Force was more than fully manned from 2015 to 2017. But manning fell 17 percentage points in recent years, from a high of 108 percent in fiscal 2016 to 91 percent in 2019.

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