HomeNewsArticle Display

AF announces FY16 aviator bonuses: RPA pilots eligible for first time

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Eligible active-duty aviators have until Sept. 30 to apply for the fiscal year 2016 Aviator Retention Pay or Critical Skills Retention Bonus programs, Air Force officials announced Dec. 15.

“The cost to train and develop our Airmen is a significant investment for the Air Force,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. “These incentives are cost effective methods to retain a sufficient force of skilled and experienced aviators to meet our current and future requirements.”

RPA pilot Critical Skills Retention Bonus

Air Force leadership, having advocated through the Office of the Secretary of Defense and to Congress for increased authority, announces that for the first time, the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act is authorizing remotely piloted aircraft pilots to be paid using the same authorities as all other aviators. This new legislative authority cannot be implemented until cross-service guidance is drafted and approved. In the meantime, the Air Force will offer, a Critical Skills Retention Bonus to those career RPA pilots (18X) whose undergraduate RPA pilot training service obligation is expiring.

Officers who have earned an aeronautical rating prior to attending Undergraduate RPA Pilot Training (URT) are eligible for an identical bonus offering under the fiscal 2016 Aviator Retention Pay program outlined below. The combination of bonuses now allows the Air Force to compensate all RPA pilots at the same level regardless of aeronautical rating.

"It is important to ensure RPA pilots receive a bonus that is equitable to other pilots," said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. "Therefore, we worked closely with OSD to implement the CSRB for them and with a commensurate amount this year. These Airmen are making extremely important contributions to the fight; we need these professionals to stay with us and we're committed to retaining them in our force."

The Air Force takes into account training costs, market conditions and demand when determining the appropriate incentives designed to retain skilled and experienced Airmen in RPA and other critical missions.

The fluid global environment points to a strong demand for the effects airpower delivers and to retain the highly skilled pilots needed for the nation’s defense.

"RPA missions are increasingly critical to national security, and our ability to retain experienced RPA pilots will enable us to meet current and emergent mission requirements," said Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, the deputy chief of staff for operations.

In fiscal 2016, RPA pilots who have accumulated six years of aviation service after completion of undergraduate RPA pilot training are eligible for a bonus of five annual installments of $25,000, with the option to receive 50 percent of the bonus total payable up front. Once the new authorities and cross-service guidance are available, RPA pilots will be eligible to transition to longer bonus periods matching those currently available to other aviators.

To be eligible, officers must be active-duty lieutenant colonels and below who have an 18X RPA aeronautical rating. They must have completed undergraduate RPA pilot training and six years of 18X aviation service after RPA training. In addition, they must be entitled to and be receiving RPA aviation incentive pay, and cannot complete 25 years of active-duty before the end of their bonus period.

Aviator retention pay


This year’s ARP program continues to build upon previous year’s offers to decisively shape and retain the rated force providing specific eligible pilots and combat systems officers with monetary incentives in exchange for active-duty service commitments.

Pilots, to include those who entered into a fiscal 2015 agreement last year, have the opportunity to accept an agreement of five years or one that will commit them until they reach 20 Years of Aviation Service (YAS). Those pilots who are uncommitted and have not previously accepted an ARP agreement are offered the same five year or 20 YAS commitment at a reduced rate.

“This year, the most noteworthy change is the opportunity for pilots whose undergraduate flying training active duty service commitments expire in FY17 to enroll in an ARP agreement now and receive their first payment immediately upon contract ratification,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the director of military force management policy. “Remaining payments will be spread out equally over the contract term.”

Additionally, combat systems officers from the rescue, remotely piloted aircraft and fighter career fields may accept an ARP agreement for five or nine years, not to exceed 20 YAS, to address shortages and growing requirements. Those combat systems officers and air battle managers in the RPA enterprise are also eligible for ARP at the same level as other RPA pilots.

The fiscal 2016 ARP program applies to lieutenant colonels and below. Also, these officers must be qualified for operational flying duty and entitled to and receiving monthly flight pay.

Depending on the aviator category and length of the ARP contract, incentives will vary from $15,000 to $25,000 per year with some categories eligible to receive 50 percent of the ARP total payable up front.

Similar to the fiscal 2015 program, Airmen who will complete their Undergraduate Flying Training active-duty service commitment (ADSC) anytime in fiscal 2016 may submit an application to the Air Force Personnel Center to lock in a contract under the fiscal 2016 ARP program terms and conditions.

Airmen applying for these bonus programs should typically expect to see payments within three weeks after final approval of their application and processing by DFAS. Complete eligibility requirements and application instructions are available on the myPers website at the Officer Compensation link in the left hand column.

Engage

Twitter
.@SpecialTactics_ #Airmen joined in the Columbian-led search and rescue and disaster relief exercise Ángel de los A… https://t.co/LhzNgAcWxv
Twitter
Defenders and their K-9 counterparts at Osan Air Base, ROK, conducted flight training on a U.S. Army HH-60 Black Ha… https://t.co/F6GUONgFYk
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: I get at least one notification a day about a DAF teammate we have needlessly lost to COVID. We need to be mission ready—…
Twitter
.@SecAFOfficial, @GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official visited Liberty Village @jointbasemdl, N.J. The team toured op cen… https://t.co/erJs60sYOi
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Enjoyed speaking w/ Republic of Singapore Air Force CAF Maj. Gen. Kelvin Khong. The @USAirForce is grateful for Singapore…
Twitter
Members of the 33rd Rescue Squadron, @KadenaAirBase, Japan, recently participated in joint training with U.S. Marin… https://t.co/aef3q4JuoB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Senior leaders, including SecAF Kendall, visited #TaskForceLiberty where active duty, Guard & Reserve service members ar…
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Why make just one mark on the world when you can make many? @usairforce @GenCQBrownJr https://t.co/xXidr8buDI
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: To ensure success -- or head off failure -- we must rapidly develop and deliver new capabilities. We must make difficult…
Twitter
.@RAFMildenhall #Airmen from the maintenance, intel, weather and security forces career fields worked together to g… https://t.co/WKQ7RvpIzP
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The service members @USAF_EC, @jointbasemdl didn’t believe in impossible. They completely transformed an empty field and…
Twitter
Exercises like Falcon Leap 2020 allow better interoperability among other U.S. branches and international mission p… https://t.co/cML0OvNv3j
Twitter
Curious about the #COVID19 vaccine? Here are some facts to help burst a few #COVID vaccine myths. Learn more here:… https://t.co/7njVBL566L
Twitter
The last Sunday in September marks Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day. We honor and appreciate all those whose l… https://t.co/GmcF36E8nG
Twitter
The Road to #AF75 is all about Airmen, Airpower and Innovation! Today marks the beginning of a year-long series f… https://t.co/ALLC0DK7nB
Twitter
.@DeptofDefense announced the Independent Review Commission Actions and Implementation to Address Sexual Assault an… https://t.co/UfpSe8KNtM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: This is America’s military performing at its best. I couldn’t be more proud of the #Airmen of @USAF_EC, @jointbasemdl and…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall, @GenCQBrownJr & @CMSAF_official visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (@jointbasemdl) today to thank s…
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Medical professionals assigned to @RamsteinAirBase and Rhine Ordnance Barracks, #Germany, began mass administering vaccin…
Twitter
#ICYMI, DAF senior leaders and their spouses participated in a Leadership & the Family panel during #ASC21 held at… https://t.co/FZOnzruyw4
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,378,491
Follow Us