Air Force program might result in enlisted fight pilots: ‘We have some good younger minds’

The U.S. Air Force will quickly begin a pilot coaching program in Austin, Texas, that features 5 enlisted “pioneers” with a bunch of 15 officers.

A pilot scarcity of roughly 2,000 airmen has pressured army officers to suppose outdoors the field for methods to shut the hole. Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, commander of the Second Air Force, says a pool of 250 enlisted airmen might yield solutions.

Air Force Times confirmed Wednesday the existence of a six-month program to launch subsequent February after receiving a tip by former airman Steven Mayne. Pilots are at the moment required to be commissioned officers with a school diploma.

“Enlisted volunteers will be pioneers in innovating Air Force aviator recruitment, selection, and training processes by demonstrating the potential of non-college graduates to succeed in a rigorous pilot training environment,” Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail. “This program will provide data to [Air Education and Training Command commander Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast] on the potential for enlisted members to train to fly modern combat aircraft.”

Volunteers who go the coaching program will then take solo flights in T-6 trainers.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright advised the newspaper that he was assured an period of enlisted fight pilots was solely a matter of time.

“I don’t know that [having enlisted airmen fly manned aircraft] will happen on my watch, but I think that’s the natural progression,” he mentioned. “We have some brilliant young minds in our Air Force that are perfectly capable of flying manned aircraft.”

In an analogous vein, Chief Master Sergeant Wright can be conducting a examine on the utility of reviving a warrant officer program as a way of recognizing distinctive abilities and added tasks, the newspaper reported.


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