US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will allow the country’s air force to voluntarily recall retired pilots to re-join the service.
The executive order lets up to 1,000 retired pilots to serve as active duty personnel for up to three years, media sources reported citing US Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman commander Gary Ross.
It provides DoD Secretary with additional authority to manage personnel requirements.
The US Air Force (USAF) has recently called retired pilots holding Air Force Specialty Code 11X to apply for the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program in a bid to address aircrew crisis, which has left the service short of more than 1,500 pilots.
Pilots below 60 who retired within the last five years in the rank of captain, major or lieutenant colonel may apply for the programme.
Participation was previously limited to 25 retired pilots and active-duty tour lengths of up to 12 months, the USAF stated.
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The applicants are required to be medically qualified for active duty with a flying class II physical and must have served in a rated staff position within ten years, or have been qualified in an Air Force aircraft within five years of application.
Last month, the USAF hosted a discussion on how to address the service’s growing shortage of experienced aircrew.
More than 60 senior leaders from the USAF participated in the discussion held at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, US, to share solutions to overcome pilot shortage.