Fly, Fight and Win: The reserve seeks pilots

  • Published
  • By Andrew Biscoe
  • Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs

The Air Force Reserve Command has a critical need for pilots – some 300, actually. 

Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command addresses this need through current pilot affiliations from active duty, as well as by training new pilots.

Most of AFRC’s pilot positions are filled by current pilots who are leaving active duty but wish to continue serving in the Reserve. 

“The transition for pilots from active duty to the Reserve is through two primary programs: PALACE CHASE and PALACE FRONT,” said Michael LoForti, acting chief of the air, space and information directorate’s operations resource division at Headquarters AFRC . “We use both programs to get 11/12X Air Force Specialty Codes to the AFR. Affiliations account for replenishing about 75 percent of our pilot manning in which we lose around 300-350 per year through normal attrition, to include retirements and mandatory separation date limits. The remaining pilot positions must be filled by training new pilots.”  The other 25 percent of pilots come from other sources, primarily the Undergraduate Flying Training (UFT) program. 

“These candidates are hired off-the-street to the 11X Air Force Specialty Code,” LoForti said. AFRC typically receives 100-115 pilot training slots per year. Candidates must be selected for UPT by an AFRC pilot training selection board.  These boards convene quarterly in January, April, July and October.

Master Sgt. Alexander James, AFRC’s officer accessions program manager, cited ongoing efforts to streamline the affiliation process for individuals transitioning from active duty to the Reserve.

“We're reinforcing our connections with hiring units -- particularly with the chief pilots who play a pivotal role in this process,” James said. “Strengthening the relationships between our recruiting team and chief pilots is crucial for smoothly bringing fully qualified and non-prior-service applicants into coveted pilot positions.” An event is planned in the spring that should also help tally more pilot candidates.

“I'm thrilled to share that we are in the early stages of planning a significant pilot recruitment event this spring,” James said. “Our aim is to attract the nation's top pilots from renowned pilot universities, contributing to the growth and excellence of our team in AFRC.”

AFRC typically receives 100-115 UPT slots per year from higher headquarters. For more information on AFRC’s UFT program, including eligibility requirements and how to contact a recruiter, get sponsored by an AFRC unit and apply to a selection board, please visit