$25k For Pilots Who Stay Past Nine Years; Benefit For Air
Battle Managers Too
The US Air Force
doesn't have a shortage of pilots, and it doesn't want one either.
For that reason it has Aviator Continuation Pay, which is a little
kiss from the eagle that goes into a pilot's paycheck if he or she
keeps flying after working off their undergraduate pilot training
Pilots who have completed their commitment and nine years' rated
pilot service become eligible for the pay, which is $25,000 a year
before taxes (but taxes are waived for aviators in the combat
zone). To be eligible for the money, pilots have to sign for five
The program also extends to Air Battle Managers (ABMs). ABMs are
the folk in the back of an E-3A AWACS or E-8 JSTARS (and soon, in
the antiballistic Airborne Laser) that control and, well, manage,
the air battle. ABMs need to have completed their Air Force
commitment incurred for completing the ABM rating, and served six
years as a rated ABM.
And ABMs only get $15,000 a year for their five-year extension.
They might tell the pilots where to go in combat, but it's still a
pilot's Air Force.
The Air Force has offered Aviator Continuation Pay in the past.
They change the rates and eligibility requirements as needed to
balance the aviator force; the rates for 2006 were unknown until
There are some gotchas: this is strictly for active duty
Aviators who have served voluntary tours of active duty from the
Air Guard or the Reserve don't get a whiff of the green stuff. Nor
do officers who got out previously and now get back in, or came
over from another service. And if someone already got this deal
once before, he or she can't have it again.
The Air Force personnel wallahs think that about 750 rated
pilots and ABMs will be eligible for the program in fiscal 2006,
which began October 1. Qualified personnel can call DSN 665-5000 or
visit the FMI link for more information.