Stop-Loss Rejected By Air Force
The Air Force moved quickly last week to quell concerns that it would force pilots to stay in uniform beyond their agreed-to separation dates. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told an event in Washington last week that’s not currently an option to stem the exodus of pilots to the airlines. “I want to make it as clear as I possibly can. This is not something I am considering,” he said. “It’s a tool in the Secretary of Defense’s toolbag to use when we’re in a state of emergency. And we’re not in a state of emergency.” Another general mentioned “stop-loss” as an option earlier in the week and the resulting report was widely circulated.
The other option to stop the bleeding of talent is to up the ante even higher to entice pilots to stay. Those coming to the end of their contracts are now offered up to $35,000 a year in retention bonus but Lt. Gen. Mark Nowland, deputy chief of staff for operations, said that might have to be increased. "We're going to work the retention issue hard," Nowland told the Air Force Times. "The key is we've got to work with Congress and talk to Congress as we do it, but continue to work with Congress to up that retention bonus as we look to retain guys in the future."