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Highlights

GAO examined whether the Air Force is reducing the number of pilots in its force structure in the most cost-effective manner.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to reinstate delayed entry into the UPT program for pilot candidates until enough cockpit assignments become available to absorb these pilots. Reinstating this practice will have the effect of lengthening the pilots' stay in the service, unless they choose to exercise other options such as leaving active duty service before entering the UPT program or remaining in a nonflying position.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Air Force did not reinstate its policy of delaying entry of pilot candidates into the Undergraduate Pilot Training Program, contrary to what GAO had recommended. Instead, the Air Force increased its number of available cockpit assignments. In doing this, however, the Air Force may have decreased the opportunity for experienced pilots in operating units to maintain their readiness and combat capability; increased its ration of aircrew to aircraft, flying hours, and operating costs; and reduced overall cost-effectiveness in ensuring a highly trained force to meet operational requirements and future contingencies.

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