GRAPEVINE,TX–Because the Air Pressure grapples with a ongoing scarcity of pilots, Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Fight Command, is contemplating one potential treatment, which is transitioning pilots from mobility plane to fighter or bomber plane.
“When you’re on the market, and I do know some are, if you wish to ship me a be aware and what you consider that, I’m contemplating that,” Holmes mentioned in response to an viewers query on the Airlift Tanker Affiliation’s annual symposium exterior Dallas, Texas. “I’m open to the concept, I simply need to make the mathematics work. “
However, the ACC commander mentioned he was skeptical as a result of the coaching time it will take to transition a pilot from flying mobility plane to fighters or bombers is about the identical as it’s for newly-trained pilots to learn to fly them within the first place.
“To undergo [a] Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course, after which to go to an extended course, both an extended transition course, or a course that preliminary college students undergo, it’s about the identical quantity of coaching it takes to coach a lieutenant,” he mentioned. “That lieutenant’s gonna give me 10 years of return on that funding. And the older persons are that I deliver over, the much less return I’m gonna get on that funding.”
One potential treatment to that exact drawback was introduced up by Holmes, who defined how he had heard from some pilots at Vance AFB in Oklahoma that they had been all for including to their service commitments if it meant they may fly fight plane. However, Holmes mentioned he wasn’t positive about that potential answer.
“It’s counter to the best way we’re going, you noticed previously week the Air Pressure has eradicated a lot of the lively responsibility service commitments for cross coaching,” he mentioned. “We don’t need you to say no to that coaching, to really feel like its trapping you.”
His remarks come because the Air Pressure is seeking to enhance the variety of pilots it trains per yr from about 1,300 in FY2019 to 1,500 in FY2022. The service can also be engaged on a “flying-only” technical observe for pilots that cuts non-flying duties.
Whereas Holmes appeared skeptical of the concept throughout his reply at A/TA, he did say he wished motivated pilots, no matter the place they arrive from.
“In the end although, I’m of the mindset that I would like folks which might be dying to be someplace and so they’re actually keen and decided to do one thing,” he mentioned.