Air Force hopes to train 1,500 new pilots each year by 2022 to help solve shortage

The Air Force hopes to be able to train 1,500 new pilots each year by fiscal 2022 as part of its effort to solve its troubling shortage of aviators.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said at a Senate Armed Services readiness and management support subcommittee hearing Wednesday that the Air Force trained 1,160 new pilots in fiscal 2017, and expects to train 1,311 in fiscal 2019, before expanding further.

The Air Force has taken several steps to try to improve air crew?s quality of life and quality of service, and solve problems that might be leading some to choose to leave the Air Force. Wilson highlighted efforts to reduce operating tempos, revitalize squadrons and restore support staffs so air crew can concentrate on flying, as well as generous incentive pay and bonuses.

Senators Want Millions For Air Force And Marine Light Attack Planes In New Budget

U.S. Senators are looking to add hundreds of millions of dollars to the defense budget so the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps can buy fleets of light attack aircraft. This comes amid reports that the former service could finally award a contract to buy these types of planes by the Spring of 2019.

On May 24, 2018, the Senate Armed Services Committee, or SASC, approved the latest, amended draft iteration of their version of the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2019 fiscal year, the formal title for the annual defense budget. In the process of the so-called ?markup,? the legislators proposed authorizing $350 million to support the Air Force?s light attack effort, as well as another $100 million for a Marine Corps program. In June 2017, the Committee had added $1.2 billion for ?a fleet of Light Attack/Observation aircraft? in the fiscal year 2018 draft budget without specifying any particular service, a figure that lawmakers subsequently reduced substantially.