Air Force will bring back up to 1,000 retirees to plug gap in pilots, other rated officers

As many as 1,000 recently retired Air Force pilots, combat systems officers and air battle managers could return to active duty under a major new expansion of a recall program.

The Air Force announced Wednesday it will expand the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty program as part of its effort to ease serious manning shortages in the rated community. The service has repeatedly sounded the red alert over its roughly 2,000-pilot shortfall ? which represents about 10 percent of its overall pilot force ? and said it could jeopardize the service?s ability to train all the new pilots it needs and fight wars overseas.