The Air Force is losing ground in terms of readiness because it has too many old planes to continue operating, Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin told the Armed Services Readiness Panel of bedroom.
The Air Force’s $ 15.4 billion weapon systems sustainment demand in 2022 is “on par” with 2021 demand, but Allvin told lawmakers that “the funding is not keeping pace with the demand for 2021. pace of escalating costs â. Until 2021, he said, “requirements have increased by over $ 800 million as we have taken on new planes without removing existing platforms.”
The 2022 request aims to withdraw 201 aircraft and purchase 91 new ones, for a net decrease of 110 aircraft, in an attempt to “affordably balance weapons systems sustainment accounts,” Allvin said . The Air Force would use the savings to upgrade remaining equipment or develop new systems more relevant to what Allvin called “the future of combat.”
He also said the budget makes “several key adjustments to operational deployment builds, to ensure our forces are optimally positioned to build and maintain peer competition readiness, including realigning the force generation model. of the Air Force “.
Readiness accounts also support more dynamic force employment tasks and “more high-end training for peer competition,” he told the subcommittee.
If allowed to make the requested changes, Allvin said the service can expedite “the reestablishment of readiness that this committee makes possible.”
Asked what the Air Force is doing to tackle its chronic pilot shortage, he said the goal was to recruit 1,500 new pilots per year, and he listed a number of “irons in the fire” that l ‘Air Education and Training Command explores to accelerate. Pilot production. These include an accelerated training program for civilian pilots qualified to become USAF pilots; skip the fixed-wing portion of helicopter pilot training and send them directly to rotary-wing training; switch to civilian instructors for simulator training and allow them to conduct this training virtually and remotely, putting more airline pilots back into operational cockpits.
Putting all of that together – and if they pay off as expected – he said, “The Air Force can really produce about an additional” base of pilots per year, “and our target to know that it will be by then. exercise 1924, but we want to make sure that we assess each of them and where we might want to put more emphasis.
Allvin also said the Air Force will put more effort into managing pilots “throughout their careers, so the tub [the cohort shortage] not content to move from corporate rank officers to field rank officers. We have to manage them throughout their life cycle, which will be a challenge in the future. “
He also confirmed that the USAF plans to maintain its “three depots strategy” and is investing money in programs to develop new civilian talent for the depots through scholarships and companion programs. Deposits are also funded for new technologies such as 3-D or additive manufacturing, to make a “graceful transition” to retirement for planes suffering from endangered seller syndrome. There is $ 100 million in the budget applied to sustainment technologies, Allvin said.