Air Force offers up to $600K in bonuses to retain pilots

FILE-Pilots learn parachute techniques at the US Air Force Survival Training Center near Spokane, WA. (Photo by Remi Benali/Liaison/Getty Images)

Aiming to address U.S. military pilot shortages, the Air Force recently said it will offer up to $600,000 in bonuses over the next 12 years. 

The bonuses range from $15,0000 to $50,000 per year for contracts ranging from three to 12 years of additional service, the Air Force said in a Nov. 30 press release

The Air Force says the bonuses will be available through two programs for the fiscal year 2024: the FY24 Experienced Aviator Retention Incentive (EARI) and the FY24 Demonstration Bonus. 


EARI builds on prior initiatives to "deliberately shape and retain experienced rated officers to meet Air Force retention, training, and mission readiness requirements to maintain the lethality of the force," the Air Force says. 

Eligible active-duty aviators have until Aug. 1 to sign up. 

"In today’s strategic environment, the requirement to preserve critical skills in our Airz Force has never been more important," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Adrian Spain, Director of Training and Readiness, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Headquarters.

"Retaining these professional aviators’ experience and expertise within the Total Force is imperative in order to outpace future challenges that may emerge throughout the spectrum of conflict." 

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