USAF Rejects Retired Pilot Recall


The U.S. Air Force said on Sunday there are no plans to use the powers created by President Donald Trump last week to force the recall of retired pilots. “We appreciate the authorities and flexibility delegated to us,” said Ann Stefanek, chief of Air Force media operations, on Sunday. However, “The Air Force does not currently intend to recall retired pilots to address the pilot shortage,” Stefanek said.

The White House made waves last week by amending a 9/11-era executive order granting the Department of Defense emergency powers to force the recall of retired military officers to active duty. Department of Defense spokesman Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross had said he expected the Secretary of Defense would use the power to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for three years each, a plan that had evidently not been run past Air Force leadership. Senior Air Force officials have told Congress they are short about 1,500 pilots, a number they expect will grow for several years as airlines continue to hire en masse and the Air Force works to build up training resources. The branch is mostly short fighter pilots who have been most affected by more than 16 years at war.