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Wanted: A Few Good Aces

July 22nd, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Jeeze:

Help wanted: At least 130 veteran military aviators for nine-year commitment to fly fighter jets.

Salary: $34,500 to $97,400. Plus good benefits and a $225,000 signing bonus — guaranteed.

Contact: U.S. Air Force by Sept. 30.

That’s the offer from the Pentagon, which is so short of Air Force fighter pilots that it’s boosting its salary package to make the job more enticing.

It may be hard to imagine that life as a high-flying fighter jock has lost its swagger, but the Air Force revealed it has a shortage of 200 fighter pilots this year. And if something isn’t done, the Air Force, which has about 3,000 fighter pilots, fears it may face a shortfall of 700 by 2021.

There’s something seriously wrong when a country of 310,000,000 can’t produce 3,000 Air Force pilots.

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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We're also not producing many private pilots any more, and we keep losing general aviation airports to shopping malls.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
News Flash, Air Force pilots don't get 'swagger' credit in the military.

The Air Force has a well deserved reputation for being timid. You want 'Top Gun pilots?' Look for them in the Navy, Marine Corps, or Army (which is actually the largest Air Force in the world, based on air frames, precisely because the USAF is not reliable for close air support).

Please do not take my word for this, ask around. Ask Air Force pilots! A Navy Carrier Air Wing operates on a fairly rigid schedule; each carrier is supposed to limit flight ops to 12 hours/day, and mission requests are normally supposed to be made 24 hours in advance.
- but the schedule in a conflict zone is also usually pre-loaded w/ contingency flights, 'just in case.' and we always have a helo on standby, and frequently a 'ready' fighter or two sitting on a 'cat, just in case.
^this is something of an issue for our USMC cousins, who are famously committed to supporting their grunts ashore, but even they realize the complicated 'dance' on the deck of a birdfarm isn't safe 24/7.
- last I checked the Air Force wouldn't do *anything* w/o 48 hours notice.

Best Regards,
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At one point the Army Air Force had non-coms as pilots. But no, we can't have that, all pilots must be Officers for some reason. Even UAV operators, they want to be qualified pilots and officers now. Insisting on on qualifications that are irrelevant to the job is a big part of the problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My dad was a naval aviator and the reason he ran screaming from the Navy was that they were more interested in him being an officer than a pilot. He just wanted to fly the plane. Navy wanted a very yes-sir/no-sir, spit polish Lt. My uncle was Air Force and he was all for that anal-retentive, by-the-book attitude the military wanted. My uncle/s also an annoying jerk.
I can only imagine the DoD's gotten worse re: that since the 60s. Making an unfriendly environment for aggressive, high performing, alphas to work in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The signing bonus is good. But risking your limbs and life for $34,500, and getting stuck for years?

After you are injured, you find out they cut your vet benefits and close your VA hospitals so our Dearest Dear Leader and his lovely wife can spend millions on a vacation or two... makes you feel stupid, no?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
$34,500 per year is approximately $18.00/hr. In Williston North Dakota that is what they START employees out at working at McDonalds! What a world we live in!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why should pilots risk their lives flying fighter jets? They can get medals and promotions flying drones killing Americans on the president's say-so.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Hmmm, a shortage of male college students after implementing policies designed to encourage women to go to college. A shortage of fighter pilots after implementing policies designed to encourage women to be fighter pilots.

Gee, I'm stumped. Maybe it'll all work out if we apply Title IX to STEM majors.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Probably has more to do with implementing policies designed to stop fighter pilots from being fighter pilots. See the general fumbuckary that is TAMI-21, and the push towards UAVs in what used to be traditional F/A roles.

Used to be that being a fighter pilot meant you'd be in a few dozen million worth of the best we can build, going Mach 2 and blowing crap up every so often, with a fairly lucrative commercial gig on the horizon after you got out. That made the fairly hellish process of becoming one worth it for a lot of guys. These days, if you go through all that crap, you're as likeliy as not to be sitting in a booth flying a UAV, or piloting an office chair somewhere, and largely effed once you get out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not to mention "career-broadening" requirements, etc. Some guys just want to fly hot jets. They could care less about doing a tour on a ground job, running a maintenance squadron or such. The Navy has a "Limited Duty Officer" concept, for technical specialists, why not a "Pilot Duty Officer" track for flying jobs only. You'd max out at Lt. Colonel and be unable to command a Squadron or higher, but not everyone WANTS command. . .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not to mention that they seem to care more about that sine-qua-non almighty College Degree than any other qualification.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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