Before the rush starts, be advised that the retired pilots, navigators, or air battle managers the Air Force wants to return to service must be younger than 60 years of age and lieutenant colonels or below. The service has decided to recall retired officers as another way to aid it rapid expansion of unmanned aerial vehicle operators. That does not mean that these returning airmen will get to pilot UAVs, because the Air Force needs some of them to serve in rated staff positions. According to a Feb. 5 release, the service will recall the officers for 24 to 48 months and they could be subject to deployment but will not be eligible for aviator continuation pay. Able-bodied rated officers have until the end of the year to apply. The Air Force Personnel Center has more information.
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.