Tony Katz Today
Trump Lets Air Force Recall 1K Retired Pilots
(photo credit: Joaquin Sarmiento/Getty Images)
Reports claim the action will help ease the combat pilot shortage in the force and improve military readiness as the administration steps up its new Afghanistan war strategy to defeat the Taliban and terrorism.
It's been a building issue for several years. Right now the guess is 1,500 pilots that they need - the vast majority of which are fighter pilots. They've been trying things like bonuses worth half a million dollars over a 13-year career to entice pilots to stay, but they're having a lot of trouble keeping them. So this essentially gives the Air Force flexibility if they want to use it to call pilots out of retirement.
Seck notes, however, that the program is completely voluntary for retired pilots and potential applicants must still apply in order to be considered.
...So nobody is going to be yanked away from their family or their airline job to fly an Air Force aircraft; it's just not going to happen. Moreover, I want to make this clear, this is simply a permission. So the Air Force has said, 'Well we don't really have plans to use this executive order permission, at least for the present.
Hope went into further detail with Tony about the executive order, as well as the military's long-term plans for unmanned aircraft.
Click the link below to hear Tony's full interview with Hope Seck: