In Midst Of Pilot Shortage, Luke Air Force Base May Get More F-16 Training Jets

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, August 15, 2016 - 6:18pm
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
An open cockpit on an F-16.

The Air Force is scrambling to address a fighter pilot shortage, and officials have decided to boost their pilot training in an effort to solve the problem. 

Officials say as of March this year, the Air Force is short about 650 pilots across all missions.

To combat that shortfall, the Air Force is shifting some F-16 fighter jets at Hill Air Force Base in Utah to another F-16 training location.

Luke Air Force Base in Glendale could be getting them, but spokesman Lt. Col. Matt Hasson said the process to bring the aircraft would be lengthy.

“The process isn't just 'hey let's put these aircraft at a different place,'" Hasson said. "If we put them [at] this base, here’s the impact it has on this community, it’s a very deliberate process when we determine to relocate a mission.”

Hasson said the process takes into account an environmental analysis and the cost, before deciding on where the fighter jets would be placed.

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