The Air Force faces critical shortages in drone and manned aircraft pilots as well as in science and technology positions, as it competes against the private sector to fill positions for a growing force. The service will need to streamline its hiring processes to fill vacancies in fields such as cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Shon Manasco, assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, told the Dayton Daily News during a tour of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The Air Force is slated to add 4,000 active-duty personnel by Oct. 1, 2019, and by 13,700 service members by Oct. 1, 2023, under long-term projections included in the service’s fiscal 2019 budget request.
If Congress doesn’t authorize sufficient manning for the Air Force to meet the demands placed on it, officials will need to look at ways to increase their reliance on the reserve component as well as the civilian workforce, Manasco said.
Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.