Air Force personnel chief Lt. Gen. Roger Brady told lawmakers that USAF recruiters have “filled every requirement” for combat control, pararescue, tactical air control party, linguists, and survival, escape, resistance, and evasion positions since 2001. Recruiters have been helped in filling these critical specialties by the initial enlistment bonuses—from $3,000 to $12,000—enacted by Congress. However, Brady added that retention in critical skills such as combat control, explosive ordnance disposal, and pararescue is falling short in the active Air Force. And, it takes time to train people for these skills. For instance, Gen. Michael Moseley, USAF Chief of Staff, told another Congressional panel that the Air Force is “behind” in training pararescue personnel because they “are so highly trained that it takes two and a half or three year to train one.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.