Brits on Guard for Thee

Dangerously short of experienced pilots, in an unprecedented move, the Royal Canadian Air Force is recruiting British pilots laid off as a result of UK defense cuts. “The goal is to achieve a swift and direct impact to address skilled personnel shortages by attracting candidates who require minimal conversion training,” said RCAF Capt. Jean-Francois Lambert, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Facing a wave of retirements that threatens to leave Canada with a slim cadre of experienced mid-level pilots, the RCAF hopes the measure “will help stem personnel shortages and mitigate our experience gap,” added Lambert. Britain is cutting 5,000 Royal Air Force personnel, including 170 pilots with varying experience, according to the newspaper. The RCAF inducted the first UK pilot in November, and plans to recruit eight weapon systems operators, as well as 20 to 25 more pilots this year. Canada will offer airmen full citizenship for their service, stated the newspaper.