A recent DOD report predicts the Navy will resupply its inventory of pilots by 2023, but thereafter the available talent pool may be unpredictable, according to Federal News Network.
The report to Congress offers the most comprehensive view of the current military-wide pilot shortage and indicates the Navy faces the same struggle to retain experienced pilots that has challenged the Air Force.
The Navy has a shortage of 1,242 aviators, including pilots and navigators and has experienced high pilot loss rates, especially at mid and senior levels.
The Navy lost 611 pilots in 2018, which is 131% higher than the service’s 10-year average of 465 per year in pilot attrition. The Navy’s pilot inventory is about 7,000 pilots and combined pilot/flight officers (NFOs).
The report indicates the current Navy pilot shortage was caused by under recruitment from 2005 to 2012 and low graduation rates from the undergraduate training commands and Graduate Fleet Replacement squadron.
Many senior Navy pilots are leaving for commercial airlines, the report said.
Navy photo by Seaman Joshua Samoluk