The Air Force has too many fighter and bomber pilots. As Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley noted last week, this situation stems from two basic changes: fewer bomber and fighter platforms and greater need for unmanned aerial vehicle and special operations pilots. To fix the imbalance, the service has begun to implement a program it terms Transformation Aircrew Management Initiatives for the 21st Century to help redistribute the pilot force. The initiatives include opening up previously experience-restricted cockpits to new specialized undergraduate pilot training graduates and replacing several hundred rated officers in non-flying operational billets with enlisted aviators. The service expects the redistribution to enable it to increase the number of sorties it can allocate to inexperienced pilots.
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.