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The pilot shortage: The Army?s struggle to fix its aviation problems

Despite years of attempts to address the problem, the Army is struggling to deal with a shortage of about 700 pilots, a persistent manpower problem that could impact the readiness of the entire force.

Two years ago, the head of Army aviation told lawmakers that the Army was grappling with a hole in its warrant officer corps ? 731 pilots at the time ? and said the Army would tackle the problem through recruiting efforts, increasing seats at training schools and an aggressive push to retain seasoned aviators. But in the two years since then, the Army has only added about 30 pilots, and has nearly 700 left to fill, according to data provided to Army Times.

Army pilots are concerned about mission readiness levels that are compromised and even misreported, the increased risk for aviation mishaps, and competing priorities that are ?breaking pilots,? a senior pilot told Army Times.

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