In addition, Air Force training records from a
nongeneralizeable sample of seven UAS units
showed that, on average, 35 percent of the
pilots in these units completed the training for
all of their required missions. Pilots in all of
the seven focus groups GAO conducted with Air
Force UAS pilots stated that they could not
conduct training in units because their units
had shortages of UAS pilots.
GAO found similar shortages of UAS pilots in
April 2014 and in particular, GAO found that the
Air Force operated below its crew ratio, which
is a metric used to determine the number of
pilots needed in units. At that time, GAO made
four recommendations including that the Air
Force update its update crew ratio. The Air
Force concurred with these recommendations and
has taken actions, or has actions underway.
For example, an Air Force Headquarters official
stated that, in February 2015, the Air Force
completed the first phase of a three-phase
personnel requirements study on the crew ratio
and expects to update the crew ratio in 2015.
However, at this time, the Air Force has not
fully implemented any of the recommendations.
Army and the Air Force are taking actions to
increase the number of UAS instructors, but the
Army has not fully addressed the risks
associated with using less experienced
instructors and the Air Force faces instructor