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VR-Based Simulators, Trimmed Syllabi: How Vance is Meeting the Need for More Pilots

VANCE AFB, Okla.?The Air Force?s pilot shortage has forced its training bases to get creative to rapidly increase the number of trainees without a matching boost in funding. At its peak, the Air Force was short 2,000 pilots, prompting a series of steps that began in 2016 to grow pilot retention and push more trained aviators through Air Education and Training Command bases.

The 71st Flying Training Wing here must ramp up production from 325 new pilots last year to 400 this year, then grow to 425 pilots in 2020. Vance is trying to do so with the same airspace, the same number of instructors, and the same number of aircraft.

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