New and Improved Air Force Aviation Bonus Program
In hopes of retaining pilots and combat systems officers for longer time the Air Force has upped its’ bonus program. Some fighter pilots can receive up to $455,000 in bonuses over the period of 13 years.
The new bonus program does not only include monetary improvements but also the quality of the workload for pilots. Heather Wilson, the new secretary of the Air Force, says "But it's not just the money, and pilots tell us this. It's additional duties stuff, it's the deployment rates, and then when they're not deployed, they're still at a very high pace, doing all kinds of training, some of which doesn't really add value. So we're looking at all of those non-mission oriented things to try to improve the quality of life and quality of service for pilots,"
Formerly, the Air Force’s retention pay would max out at $255,000 - $25,000 per year with a five or nine year commitment. Now, pilots can commit to a one, two, or up to 13 years of service and be paid annually $35,000. And the bonuses are not only for fighter pilots but also for every tier in the Air Force such as CSOs, electronic warfare officers and navigators.
The Air Force’s Personnel chief Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso is determined to make aviators feel valued and appreciated with this new bonus program. "If they're going to give us a year ... and see if we really mean what we say with some of these quality of life and quality of service [reforms], that gives them a chance to relook, and in another year, say, 'Are we doing better, is my family in a good place, did you do what you said you were going to do, Air Force?'" Grosso said earlier this year.