The Air Force has found itself short of new dentists for nearly 10 years, bringing in about 120 a year instead of the 150 it needs. The service also finds it difficult to retain dentists once they’ve completed their basic commitment. The director of the Air Force Dental Corps, Col. Grant Hartup, says that the service plans to expand special pays and incentives, however, he thinks it must sell potential dental officers on the broader aspects of an Air Force career. He says the professional development opportunities outstrip those in the civilian world—that’s why he is still serving.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.