Friday, December 2, 2016

US Air Force Has Severe Shortage of Pilots

US Air Force Has Severe Shortage of Pilots: The United States Air Force is reporting a shortage of pilots of fighter airplanes. The lack is so severe that some generals say it may affect the service’s ability to carry out operations as soon as next year.

The Air Force is training about 135 more fighter pilots this year than two years ago. But it will be a long time before they are ready for action.

Pilots must train for years -- at a cost of millions of dollars -- before they are qualified to fly fighter jets. The high-tech aircraft could be described as flying supercomputers so lengthy training is required.

The Air Force is permitted to have 3,500 fighter pilots. However, there are now about 725 fewer.

Major General Scott Vander Hamm and Lieutenant General John Cooper supervise Air Force pilots and mechanics who take care of the planes.

They recently spoke with VOA about the pilot shortage.