The Air Force announced the authorization of a new critical skills retention bonus (CSRB) program for certain remotely piloted aircraft pilots, in according to a release. Eligible pilots whose undergraduate RPA or flying training commitments are scheduled to end in fiscal years 2016 or 2017 can apply for an annual bonus of $35,000, or a total of $175,000, with a new five-year service commitment. Those already on a bonus program can apply for the new CSRB with a one-year service commitment. The program is retroactive to the beginning of 2016, and applications will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2017, according to the release. RPA pilots in the 18X, 11U, 11X, 12U, and 13U career fields are eligible for the program, which is part of a “get well” plan for reforming the RPA career field announced by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James in April.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.