(KOTA TV) - The U.S. Air Force is facing some shortages these days, ranging from spare parts and munitions to the number of hours its crews can fly.
The most critical shortage, however, is in pilots, according to Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson, formerly the president of the School of Mines.
Speaking at the Air Crew Summit at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Wilson also said the Air Force also has a serious shortage of pilots.
Last summer, Wilson said the Air Force knew it was short 1,500 pilots and it's gone downhill from there...
Wilson says, "Last Summer, we were reporting to people that we were short (pilots) in the Air Force, and we expected it to get worse. As the fiscal year closed, we assessed where we were in respect to pilots, and I'm announcing today that at the close of the last fiscal year, we were 1,926 pilots short, so almost 2,000 pilots short in a force that has 20,000 pilots, so that's one in 10 that we're short."
Part of that shortage could be relieved by recalling up to 1,000 retired officers, something President Donald Trump signed an executive order in October allowing the Air Force to do.
Wilson says the Air Force is spread too thin. It can't cover all the missions and she says "We are burning out our people."