Although it’s not as if the president ever displayed any particular aptitude when it comes to leading the military, we got another chance to see this when, last week, the president abruptly signed an executive order that would ultimately allow the Air Force to recall up to about 1,000 pilots that had already retired.
The Air Force has now responded to the president’s move. As the Associated Press reports, chief of Air Force media operations Ann Stefanek says that the branch of the Armed Services for which she works does not “currently intend to recall retired pilots.”
The president’s executive order came in the context of an increasing campaign against the Islamic State terror group overseas, as the USA Today explained.
The Air Force is “currently short about 1,500 pilots,” according to the Associated Press, and under Trump’s recent EO, Secretary of Defense James Mattis was anticipated to “delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years,” according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Cdr. Gary Ross.
Speaking to reporters on the subject of the four U.S. soldiers recently killed in an ambush in Niger, Senator Lindsay Graham explained a bit about the future of U.S. operations overseas, and his explanation is presumably still relevant, even in the face of the Air Force asserting they won’t be recalling pilots.
Sen. Graham said, in part:
‘You’re going to see more actions in Africa, not less. You’re going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less. You’re going to have decisions made not in the White House but out in the field. And I support that entire construct.’
How exactly this manifests remains to be seen. For now, Sen. Graham’s remarks won’t be manifesting in pilots being recalled into service.
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