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Retired AF pilots welcomed back on active duty

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Retired Air Force pilots holding Air Force Specialty Code 11X are encouraged to apply for the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program in order to fill rated staff positions to help alleviate the existing manning shortages within the Air Force rated pilot community.

The Secretary of the Air Force approved VRRAD for implementation on July 11, 2017, as one of a wide range of initiatives the Air Force is pursuing to improve pilots’ quality of life and quality of service in order to increase retention.

Air Force efforts to address the pilot shortage include reviewing requirements to ensure pilots are utilized effectively. As a number of non-flying staff positions require a pilot’s expertise, the Air Force reviewed these positions to determine which ones require pilot expertise and which staff positions do not. VRRAD Rated Liaison Maj. Elizabeth Jarding, from the Air Force Personnel Center, said volunteers for VRRAD would help fill positions where pilot expertise is required.

“We will match VRRAD participants primarily to stateside rated staffs that don’t require requalification in a weapon system, with emphasis on larger organizations like major command staffs,” she said. “They’ll fill critical billets that would otherwise remain vacant due to the shortage of active-duty officers available to move out of operational flying assignments.”

Pilots who retired within the last five years in the rank of captain, major or lieutenant colonel, and under age 60, may apply for the program. Participation is limited to 25 retired pilots and active-duty tour lengths are limited to 12 months.

In addition, the program requires applicants be medically qualified for active duty with a flying class II physical and they must have served in a rated staff position within 10 years, or have been qualified in an Air Force aircraft within five years of application.

AFPC will accept applications until Dec. 31, 2018, or until all openings are filled, whichever happens first, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Retired pilots returned to active duty will not be eligible for the aviation bonus and will only deploy if they volunteer. Officers who retired pursuant to, or in lieu of, a Selective Early Retirement Board and officers who retired for physical disability are not eligible to apply.

VRRAD application procedures, to include detailed eligibility criteria, are located on myPers on the Retiree Officer Assignment landing page at myPers>Retiree>Officer, under “Learn More About” on the left side, then click the Assignment link.

Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following these instructions.