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Fighter Pilot Shortage?

Posted by Jolly on November 13, 2011


Fighter Pilot Office

Wanted - Young college graduates willing to work in confined spaces at all altitudes.  Your office will be a small cubical without Internet, phone, cable TV, or a nearby Starbucks to enjoy an hourly bitch session with the occupy Wall Street SNAPs.   Your office is mobile and only requires JP-8 to change location or altitude. You will have to learn to work with other college graduates as a team as these mobile offices move in unison to accomplish assigned tasks or missions. Your job title will be Fighter Pilot (SNAPs need not apply).

JOB Description - Your mission statement will be to protect the freedom of your fellow Americans by intimidating rogue (code for asshole) nations around the world in order to keep them from behaving badly.  Occasionally, you will have to use extreme measures when these assholes threaten our freedom directly and force them to back off by pounding their nuts to cream from your mobile office.  Supplies for your office will be provided to help you accomplish this task.   

Warnings - The interview and initial training for your functional area will be challenging and difficult at times.  Unlike the PC world you've been brought up in, you will not be coddled and told that everyone deserves to succeed.  In fact, many of you won't make it through the initial interview and on the job training program.  That's right, you may fail and never get the opportunity to work from this very small office.  During the orientation period you will be subject to three main training regiments.  They are FEAR, SARCASM, and RIDICULE.  If you feel like you are not the type of individual who could learn in this kind of environment, then may I suggest the non-mobile/non-fighter pilot office as an alternative for you.  

If you'd like more information on how to occupy this small office, contact Joe Shit The Rag Man at, or just put your question in the comment section below and Joe will be glad to answer it for you. Thanks and best of luck in landing this job.

T-38-Talon-trainer-038.jpgI wish the above was what I was reading in my daily AFA blurb via e-mail, but instead I'm reading that the AF in its infinite wisdom has once again overshot the runway.  I can't speak for my bros in the Navy and Marines, but it would not suprise me to hear the same is true there.  We go through this cycle every 10-15  years, I call it "The Crazy Loop."  It's crazy, because we keep repeating it.  Read the AFA blurb below:

Daily AFA E-mail (9 Nov 11):

Rebalancing the Rated Pipeline: The Air Force needs to boost fighter pilot production to 278 pilots a year as it works to rebalance the rated training pipeline, wrote Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in a letter to Air Force major commands and members of the Air Staff. Schwartz said this will be accomplished primarily through the new active associations with reserve fighter squadrons. Specifically, the Arizona Air National Guard at Tucson will support "significantly more" B-course students each year and reduce the number of foreign military sales students. Air Combat Command will reduce the F-16 flight training unit syllabus. The A-10 crew ratio will increase and more aircraft will be added to the FTU in an effort to produce more pilots, wrote Schwartz in the Nov. 2 letter. Also, the F-15C aggressor squadron will be converted to an FTU at a location still to be determined, and F-22 FTU throughput will be increased significantly. Schwartz requested the major command take the lead and "rapidly implement" the specific decisions made at a recent Rated Summit. The Air Staff's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Requirements function will lead a working group charged with tracking and synchronizing the staffing and codifying a new program action directive, which must be submitted to Schwartz by Dec. 1 for signature."

The Crazy Loop: " We need more fighter pilots" --- "We need to pay fighter pilots a bonus so they won't leave" -- "We can't let any Fighter Pilots out of the AF right now, and will ground anyone who won't take our bonus" -- "We need to let fighter pilots out of the AF because we have too many, and we will pay them a bonus to leave" -- "We need to close Pilot Training Base X" -- "We need a new Pilot Training base at base Y"  --- "We will be using the ANG to fill gaps in the active duty Air Force and we will call it TOTAL FORCE, we just won't tell the world that we can't meet our commitments without the Guard/Reserves" -- "We will be closing our new F-15 Aggressor Squadron in order to re-open a previous F-15 Training Squadron we just closed last year"

Over the course of the last 30 years I've seen all of the above, and then the cycle seemst-45_form1.jpg to repeat itself.  When I got to Willy in 1990 as a T-38 Instructor, the AF was training 1500 pilots per year at five bases.  The Navy and Marines had similar numbers at Naval Flight Training bases.  In 1991 after the Gulf War, the AF grossly overshot reality when it decided that we only needed 500-600 pilots per year to meet future requirements, so the blood letting began.

In 1991, both the Air Force and Navy begin drastically reducing pilot training production and letting anyone out of service commitments who wanted out.  It also coincided with a huge demand for pilots in the airline industry, and all of our pilot training graduates had the equivalent of a commercial pilots license.  I saw newly trained pilots that our taxpayers had invested millions of dollars in leaving the service with many being hired by the airline industry (only to be furloughed a year or two later). 

In 1992, as I was taxing a T-38 on the grass at Davis Monthan for storage, I was Boneyard20105.jpghearing the AF would be opening a new pilot training base at Moody to meet the Air Force's new requirement for 800-1000 pilots per year.   YGBSM right, they had just closed Willy and Reese, two of the most productive pilot training bases on the planet (At Willy alone we could easily train 350-400 pilots per year).   How do the clowns making these decisions get promoted in the first place? 

So here we are again, in an age where there are more UAV operators than fighter pilots deciding we need more fighter pilots.  No shit--really?  Of course you need more fighter pilots you morons, they are what you’ve always needed.  We are the breed of folks you want on the pointy end with our “Can Do Anything” attitudes getting the job done no matter what the odds. 

When hurricane Katrina hit, who did they put in charge of dealing with the massive coordination required to recover from that shit storm?  Well I can tell you it wasn't Mayor Nagin or FEMA, it was a bunch of fighter pilots from the Coonass Militia (sorry the PC term is Bayou Militia) coordinating efforts from mobile command posts and roof tops.  But that’s another story, maybe I can get Homer to fill in some of the details of that fiasco in a later WTFO.  End of rant……..

Of course we need more Fighter Pilots you morons!  For all you answering the job ad above to work in a small office space as a fighter pilot -- you may want to wear this shirt to let the interviewer know you're the type of person we want!


Last of a Breed -- By Dos Gringos


Posted by Griz on
What they really want is a bunch more 11F AFSCs to fill, staff, AETC, and professional model railroader billets (AKA: RPA operators). There aren't anymore fighter cockpits all of the sudden. Someone has figured out that 11Fs get the job done. I predict that a few years after the increased production, these young studs will be PCSed off the ranch once they hit the magic 300 hours never to see a fighter again.
Posted by Jolly on
Probably right Griz. Fighter pilots have the "can do" attitude the AF needs, but you're right-- it may not be in a cockpit.
Posted by DuckPerry on
What the AF does not formally say/admit is this: "We need more Lt. and Capt. fighter pilots. We have plenty of Major "I wanana Fly" fighter pilots and we have too many LTCs/COL fighter pilots wanting to fly. Ya, sure the rated staff vacuum blah blah blah. See Griz's comment. Couple of operational tours and yur outta that "office" ref. above. (San's squadron/group/wing leadership flying billets) We've seen it before, except maybe that field grade pilots are not leaving the AF in the numbers that they used to leave. Why? Airlines not hiring and even if they were, that 20+yr. retirement that used to be laughed and scoffed at by the airline bus drivers just ain't in the chump change catagory anymore! Plus...18-19 year O-5 w/Flight pay and the bonus??!! Many airline narrow body junior captains have a tough time matching that.
Posted by christynemarie on
Hey Jolly. I was assigned to Willy AFB in late '87 until '91 as an Aerospace Physiology troop. You probably rolled through my PTU unit for Phase I and III while I was there. Closing Willy was a ridiculous move. Anyway, Willy has a Facebook page that seems to be the only solid place to Willy folks to reunite with each other. Spread the word if you will! ;)
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