Shortfalls at AETC

Air Education and Training Command has attained 99 percent of its enlisted and officer recruiting goals so far this year, and is bringing in the “highest quality of airmen” in USAF history, said Gen. Edward Rice, AETC boss, during his address Friday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. However, the command is about five percent shy of meeting its education and training requirements. That doesn’t sound so bad except that this five percent shortfall includes several high priority career fields, such as pararescue jumpers, cryptologic linguists, and cyber systems operators, he said. For the most part, the challenges arise in career fields that have long pipelines and tougher entrance requirements and course curriculum, said Rice. “That five percent matters a lot more to us than you would think given the overall proportion of our graduates,” he said. The command also is meeting 95 percent of its flying requirements. The shortfall there is mostly related to force structure “in terms of how many pilots we can run through the cockpits that we have,” he noted.