In episode 34 of the Aerospace Advantage, The Future of Air Force Pilot Training: A Crisis That Demands a Solution, host John Baum delves into a key challenge facing the Air Force: the service has too few pilots and needs to produce a new generation of talent fast. In discussions with 19th Air Force commander Maj Gen Craig Wills, the leader who oversees the majority of Air Force pilot training, and members of the Mitchell team, we discuss what it takes to produce an Air Force pilot—what elements are timeless and areas where new approaches and technology are offering areas for progress. The imperative for this is simple: the demand for airpower is on the rise, but without enough trained pilots, airplanes sitting on the ramp are bricks. It takes highly trained airmen to strap in and fly the missions. The Air Force has been stuck with too few pilots for too many years now and it’s really causing problems. It’s time to change the equation, but we need to do so prudently.
Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.
Producer: Daniel C. Rice
Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey
Guest: Maj Gen Craig D. Wills, Commander of the 19th Air Force, USAF
Guest: Maj Gen (ret.) Larry Stutzriem, Director of Research, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Maj (ret.) Heather “Lucky” Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies