The Air Force is going through a pilot shortfall, but that’s not the only area where the service is understaffed.
The Air Force is in need of 4,000 maintainers, Gen. David Goldfein told senators during his nomination hearing to be Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Maintainers are airmen who care for military aircraft and their components.
Because of the dearth in staffing, Goldfein said he does not expect the current operating tempo to change over the next four years.
Goldfein said manpower and time are the two greatest limiters to Air Force readiness. Some estimates predict the Air Force will not reach adequate readiness until the mid to late 2020s.