Beset with pilot shortages, the Air Force is taking steps to attract and retain fliers and aircrews. Changes are necessary, the service’s leadership says, because of competition in the job market for skilled pilots from commercial airlines.
The Air Force began its Second Assignment In-Place Pilot Program (SAIP) Sept. 7, aimed at encouraging late-career active duty pilots and weapon system officers to remain in uniform. Officers selected for SAIP would include certain lieutenant colonels or majors selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel with 17 or more total years of total active service, and majors with more than 14 years of total service who were not selected for promotion.
“We’re in a retention crisis, which means changing the way we do business such as looking at an expanded bonus window as well as trying something new like the Second Assignment In-Place Pilot Program,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations.
Sixteen bases representing Air Education Training Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Materiel Command will offer SAIP.