Columbus Air Force Base to Play Larger Role in Training New Pilots

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today participated in a hearing to examine the Air Force’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2019.

Wicker asked Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein to outline their plans to address a critical shortage of approximately 2,000 pilots – including 950 fighter pilots.

The senator also asked the witnesses if they planned to maximize output at Undergraduate Pilot Training bases, including Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.

Secretary Wilson responded positively to Wicker’s suggestion saying, “We have to increase the number of pilots we’re training. The first step is to maximize the capacity of the pilot training bases that we have.”

Maximizing capacity at existing Air Force training programs could result in a significant increase in the number of student pilots based in Columbus.

Senator Roger Wicker Press Release