oversight

DOD Aviator Positions: Training Requirements and Incentive Pay Could Be Reduced

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-02-19.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                  on National Security, Committee on
                  Appropriations, House of
                  Representatives

February 1997
                  DOD AVIATOR
                  POSITIONS
                  Training Requirements
                  and Incentive Pay
                  Could Be Reduced




GAO/NSIAD-97-60
             United States
GAO          General Accounting Office
             Washington, D.C. 20548

             National Security and
             International Affairs Division

             B-275138

             February 19, 1997

             The Honorable C. W. Bill Young
             Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security
             Committee on Appropriations
             House of Representatives

             Dear Mr. Chairman:

             The services designate certain positions as nonflying positions to be filled
             by aviators. According to service officials, the duties of the nonflying
             positions require skills that only aviators possess. Additionally, the
             positions provide career diversification opportunities for aviators.
             Incumbents in nonflying positions receive the same compensation benefits
             as aviators in flying positions.

             Our review of nonflying positions focused on (1) the number of aviators
             (pilots and navigators) that are assigned to nonflying positions in the
             Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force; (2) the amount of
             aviation career incentive pay (ACIP) and aviation continuation pay (ACP)
             paid to aviators in nonflying positions; (3) whether the services implement
             ACIP and ACP uniformly; and (4) whether the nonflying positions affect the
             number of aviators the services plan to train to meet future requirements.
             We performed this review under our basic legislative authority and are
             addressing this report to you because of your continuing interest in
             military personnel matters. The scope and methodology of our review are
             described in appendix I.


             ACIP,commonly referred to as flight pay, is intended as additional pay to
Background   attract and retain officers in a military aviation career. The amount of ACIP
             varies from $125 a month for an aviator with 2 years or less of aviation
             service to $650 a month for 6 years to 18 years of service. After 18 years,
             the amount gradually decreases from $585 a month to $250 a month
             through year 25. After 25 years, aviators do not receive ACIP unless they are
             in operational flying positions.

             ACP, which has existed for all services since 1989, is considered a bonus
             and is intended to entice aviators to remain in the service during the prime
             of their flying career. An ACP bonus can be given to aviators below the
             grade 0-6 with at least 6 years of aviation service and who have completed
             any active duty service commitment incurred for undergraduate aviator




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                   training. However, it cannot be paid beyond 14 years of commissioned
                   service. The services believe that it is during the 9-year to 14-year period of
                   service that aviators are most sought after by the private sector airlines.
                   Therefore, to protect their aviation training investment,1 all services,
                   except the Army, which is currently not using the ACP program, offer ACP
                   contracts to experienced aviators.


                   For fiscal year 1996, the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air
Results in Brief   Force designated 11,336 positions, or about 25 percent of all aviator
                   positions, as nonflying positions to be filled by aviators. Since fiscal year
                   1994, the number of nonflying positions has decreased and this decrease is
                   expected to continue through 2001 when the number of such positions is
                   estimated to be 10,553.

                   For fiscal years 1994 through April 30, 1996, the Army, the Navy, the
                   Marine Corps, and the Air Force paid $739.7 million in ACIP, of which
                   $179.1 million was paid to aviators in nonflying positions. Additionally, the
                   Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force paid $169.4 million in ACP, of
                   which $31.9 million was paid to aviators in nonflying positions. The Army
                   does not pay ACP.

                   ACIP is payable to all aviators who meet certain flying requirements and all
                   the services implement it in a consistent fashion. With ACP, however, the
                   services have a great deal of latitude in deciding who receives it, the length
                   of time it is paid, and the amount that is paid. For example, the Navy and
                   the Marine Corps restrict ACP to eligible pilots and/or navigators of specific
                   aircraft types that have critical aviator shortages. In contrast, the Air Force
                   offers ACP to all eligible pilots in fixed-wing and/or rotary-wing aircraft if
                   there is a projected pilot shortage in any one of those respective aircraft.

                   In determining their aviator training requirements, the services consider
                   both flying and nonflying positions. Including nonflying positions
                   increases the total aviator requirements and results in the services
                   projecting aviator shortages in the upcoming fiscal years. However, our
                   analysis showed that there are more than enough aviators available to
                   satisfy all flying position requirements. Therefore, to the extent that the
                   number of nonflying positions filled by aviators can be reduced, the
                   number of aviators that need to be trained also could be reduced, saving
                   training costs of about $5 million for each Navy, Marine Corps, and Air

                   1
                    According to Air Force and Navy officials, it costs about $5 million to train a pilot up to an
                   experienced pilot level—between 3 and 5 years—and about $2 million to train a navigator up to an
                   experienced navigator level. In contrast, the Army spends about $366,000 to train its helicopter pilots.



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                                           Force pilot candidate and about $2 million for each navigator candidate.
                                           The savings to the Army would be about $366,000 for each pilot training
                                           requirement eliminated.


                                           In fiscal year 1996, the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air
Number of Nonflying                        Force designated 11,336 positions as nonflying positions to be filled by
Positions                                  aviators. These nonflying positions represent about 25 percent of all
                                           authorized aviator positions. As shown in table 1, the total number of
                                           nonflying positions has decreased since fiscal year 1994 and is expected to
                                           continue to decrease slightly up through fiscal year 2001.


Table 1: Number of Flying and Nonflying Positions for Fiscal Years 1994-2001
                              Army                 Navy              Marine Corps                    Air Force               Total aviator
                        aviator positions    aviator positions     aviator positions              aviator positions           positions
Fiscal year             Flying    Nonflying     Flying     Nonflying     Flying     Nonflying    Flying     Nonflying     Flying    Nonflying
                              a            a
1994                                             9,143          4,548     2,933          1,645 15,529            5,067 27,605          11,260
                              a            a
1995                                             8,690          4,269     2,933          1,622 15,199            5,017 26,822          10,908
1996                     7,886          582      8,606          4,209     2,910          1,645 14,716            4,900 34,118          11,336
1997                     7,963          473      8,245          4,004     2,910          1,645 14,442            4,702 33,560          10,824
1998                     8,108          555      8,297          4,036     2,887          1,664 14,168            4,533 33,460          10,788
1999                     8,108          555      8,297          4,036     2,887          1,664 14,122            4,386 33,414          10,641
2000                     8,108          555      8,297          4,036     2,887          1,664 14,126            4,380 33,418          10,635
2001                     8,108          555      8,305          4,039     2,887          1,664 14,281            4,377 33,581          10,635
                                           a
                                               The Army was not able to provide requirements data for fiscal years 1994 and 1995.



                                           Service officials told us that they have been able to reduce the number of
                                           nonflying positions primarily through force structure reductions and
                                           reorganization of major commands. The services, however, have not
                                           developed criteria for determining whether there are nonflying positions
                                           that could be filled by nonaviators. The officials said that a justification is
                                           prepared for each nonflying position explaining why an aviator is needed
                                           for the position. These justifications are then approved by higher
                                           supervisory levels. The officials believe that this process demonstrates
                                           that the position must be filled by an aviator. In our view, the preparation
                                           of a written justification for filling a particular position with an aviator
                                           does not, in and by itself, demonstrate that the duties of a position could
                                           not be performed by a nonaviator. Because the services’ position
                                           descriptions for nonflying positions do not show the specific duties of the
                                           positions, we could not determine whether all or some part of the duties of



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                             the nonflying positions can only be performed by aviators. Consequently,
                             we could not determine whether the number of nonflying positions could
                             be further reduced.

                             In commenting on a draft of this report, an Air Force official said that the
                             Air Force Chief of Staff has directed that all nonflying positions be
                             reviewed and a determination made by July 1997 as to which positions can
                             be filled by nonaviators.


                             All aviators receive ACIP, regardless of whether they are in flying or
ACIP and ACP Paid to         nonflying positions, if they meet the following criteria.
Aviators in Flying and
Nonflying Positions      •   Eight years of operational flying during the first 12 years of aviation
                             service entitles the aviator to receive ACIP for 18 years.
                         •   Ten years of operational flying during the first 18 years of aviation service
                             entitles the aviator to receive ACIP for 22 years.
                         •   Twelve years of operational flying during the first 18 years of aviation
                             service entitles the aviator to receive ACIP for 25 years.

                             ACP criteria are more flexible than ACIP in deciding who receives it, the
                             amount paid, and the length of the contract period. According to service
                             officials, ACP is an added form of compensation that is needed to retain
                             aviators during the prime of their flying career when the aviators are most
                             attractive to private sector airlines. To protect their training investment, all
                             the services believe it is necessary to offer ACP contracts. The Army does
                             not offer ACP contracts because, according to Army officials, it has not had
                             a pilot retention problem.

                             For fiscal years 1994 through April 30, 1996, the Army, the Navy, the
                             Marine Corps, and the Air Force made ACIP and ACP payments to their
                             aviators totaling $909.1 million. Of this total amount, $211 million, or about
                             23 percent, was paid to aviators in nonflying positions by the Air Force,
                             the Navy, and the Marine Corps. The following table shows ACIP and ACP
                             payments by each service for each of the fiscal years.




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Table 2: ACIP and ACP Payments by Service and Fiscal Year
Dollars in millions
                                                        ACIP                                                     ACP
                                                              Aviators in nonflying                                    Aviators in nonflying
                   Fiscal        All aviators                      positions                  All aviators                  positions
Service              year      Number        Amount             Number      Amount        Number          Amount         Number         Amount
       a
Army                1994        13,186             $40.5
                    1995        15,061               57.5
                           b
                    1996        14,587               36.9            582        $0.4
Navy                1994        15,634               78.6          4,498        25.4          1,770          $11.2            378           $2.2
                    1995        16,007               79.2          3,837        23.3          1,500             9.7           318               1.8
                    1996b       14,924               45.8          3,778        13.4            715             5.6           112               0.6
Marine Corps        1994         4,665               19.3            814         4.8            145             0.9            20               0.1
                    1995         5,045               22.4            877         5.5            245             1.4            47               0.3
                           b
                    1996         4,910               13.2            861         3.2            206             1.2            36               0.2
Air Force           1994        22,165             129.9           6,330        41.8          4,922           60.6          1,067           11.1
                    1995        20,964             128.4           5,477        37.9          4,730           46.2          1,176           11.0
                    1996b       20,480               88.0          5,044        23.8          3,037           32.6            694               4.6
Total                                             $739.7                      $179.5                       $169.4                          $31.9
                                             a
                                              The Army was not able to provide the number of aviators in nonflying positions or the amount of
                                             ACIP paid in fiscal years 1994-95.
                                             b
                                                 As of April 30, 1996.




                                             The services view ACP as a retention incentive for their experienced
Services Implement                           aviators. However, the way the services implement this incentive varies
ACP Differently                              widely in terms of who receives ACP, the length of time over which it is
                                             paid, and how much is paid. To illustrate,

                                         •   The Army does not offer ACP to its aviators because it has not had a pilot
                                             retention problem that warrants the use of the ACP program.
                                         •   The Navy offers long-term ACP contracts of up to 5 years and a maximum
                                             of $12,000 a year to eligible pilots in aircraft types with a critical pilot
                                             shortage.
                                         •   The Marine Corps offered short-term ACP contracts of 1 or 2 years at $6,000
                                             a year through fiscal year 1996. Beginning in fiscal year 1997, the Marine
                                             Corps plans to offer long-term ACP contracts of up to 5 years at $12,000 a




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                                         year to its eligible pilots and navigators in aircraft types that have critical
                                         personnel shortages.2
                                     •   The Air Force offers long-term ACP contracts of up to 5 years at a
                                         maximum of $12,000 a year to all eligible pilots if there is a pilot shortage
                                         for any fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft.

                                         Table 3 shows the number and dollar amount of ACP contracts awarded by
                                         the services for fiscal years 1994 through 1996.

Table 3: Number and Value of ACP
Contracts by Service, Fiscal Years       Dollars in millions
1994-96                                                                 Navy                  Marine Corps                  Air Force
                                         Fiscal year             Number        Amount       Number        Amount       Number        Amount
                                         1994                         158          $4.7          147          $1.7           593        $46.2
                                         1995                           78           2.6         224            1.3          334          20.4
                                         1996                           87           2.9         317            3.7          683          39.7
                                         Total                        323         $10.2          688          $6.7         1,610       $106.3

                                         As shown above, the Air Force greatly exceeds the other services in the
                                         number of ACP contracts awarded as well as the value of the contracts.
                                         This is because the Air Force does not restrict ACP contracts just to pilots
                                         of particular aircraft that are experiencing critical pilot shortages. Instead,
                                         if there is an overall shortage in fixed-wing or rotary-wing pilots, all
                                         eligible pilots in those respective aircraft are offered ACP. According to Air
                                         Force officials, the reason for offering ACP contracts to all fixed-wing
                                         and/or rotary-wing pilots rather than specific aircraft is because they want
                                         to treat all their pilots equally and not differentiate between pilots based
                                         on the type of aircraft they fly. In their opinion, if they were to only offer
                                         ACP to pilots of certain aircraft types, morale could be adversely affected.


                                         The point in an aviator’s career at which ACP is offered generally coincides
                                         with completion of the aviator’s initial service obligation—generally
                                         around 9 years. By this time, the aviator has completed pilot or navigator
                                         training and is considered to be an experienced aviator, and according to
                                         service officials, is most sought after by private sector airlines. For this
                                         reason, the services believe that awarding an ACP contract is necessary to
                                         protect their training investment and retain their qualified aviators. For
                                         example, the Air Force estimates that by paying ACP to its pilots, it could
                                         retain an additional 662 experienced pilots between fiscal years 1995 and
                                         2001.

                                         2
                                          The Marine Corps defines critical shortage as a situation where the requirements exceed the inventory
                                         by at least 5 percent and the situation is not expected to improve within 3 years.



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                                          The issue of whether ACP is an effective or necessary retention tool has
                                          been brought into question. For example, an April 1996 Aviation Week and
                                          Space Technology article3 pointed out that in the previous 7 months,
                                          32 percent of the 6,000 new pilots hired by private sector airlines were
                                          military trained pilots. This is in contrast with historical airline hiring
                                          patterns where 75 percent of the airline pilots were military pilots. The
                                          concern about military pilots being hired away by the airlines was also
                                          downplayed in a June 1995 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.4 The
                                          report stated that employment in the civilian airlines sector is far from
                                          certain. Airline mergers, strikes, or failures have made the commercial
                                          environment less stable than the military. Consequently, military aviators
                                          may be reluctant to leave the military for the less stable employment
                                          conditions of the airline industry. CBO concluded that short-term civilian
                                          sector demands for military pilots may not seriously affect the services’
                                          ability to retain an adequate number of pilots.


                                          The services include nonflying positions in their aviator requirements for
Effect of Nonflying                       determining future aviator training needs. Therefore, aviator training
Positions on Aviator                      requirements reflect the number of aviators needed to fill both flying and
Training                                  nonflying positions. As shown in table 4, of all the services, the Air Force
                                          plans the largest increase in the number of aviators it will train between
Requirements                              fiscal years 1997 and 2001—a 60-percent increase. The reason for the large
                                          training increase in Air Force aviators is because it believes that the
                                          number of aviators trained in prior years was insufficient to meet future
                                          demands.


Table 4: Number of Pilots and Navigators to Be Trained, Fiscal Years 1997 to 2001
                           Army                        Navy                    Marine Corps                             Air Force
Fiscal year         Pilots     Navigators          Pilots        Navigators        Pilots       Navigators         Pilots        Navigators
                                          a
1997                  436                             569                355          307                 30         654                    300
                                          a
1998                  576                             633                329          322                 36         900                    300
                                          a
1999                  570                             645                320          322                 36       1,025                    300
                                          a
2000                  570                             645                320          322                 36       1,025                    300
                                          a
2001                  570                             645                320          322                 36       1,050                    300
                                          a
Total               2,722                           3,137              1,644        1,595               174        4,654               1,500
                                          a
                                              The Army does not have navigator positions.



                                          3
                                          Proctor, Paul, “Airlines Increase Hiring From Civil Ranks,” Aviation Week and Space Technology,
                                          April 8, 1996.
                                          4
                                            Congressional Budget Office memorandum, Pilot Retention Bonuses in the Air Force, June 1995.



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                                          Because nonflying positions are included in the total aviator requirements,
                                          the Navy and the Marine Corps project aviator shortages for fiscal
                                          years 1997-2001 and the Air Force projects aviator shortages for fiscal
                                          years 1998-2001. As shown in table 5, there are more than enough pilots
                                          and navigators available to meet all flying position requirements.
                                          Therefore, to the extent that the number of the nonflying positions filled
                                          by aviators could be reduced, the number of aviators that need to be
                                          trained, as shown in table 4, could also be reduced. This, in turn, would
                                          enable the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force to reduce their
                                          aviator training costs by as much as $5 million for each pilot and $2 million
                                          for each navigator that the services would not have to train. The savings to
                                          the Army would be less because its aviator training costs are about
                                          $366,000 for each pilot.


Table 5: Flying Requirements Versus Available Pilots and Navigators, Fiscal Years 1997-2001
                                                      Pilot                                            Navigator
                                                              Flying         Percent                          Flying      Percent
Fiscal year   Service                 Inventory         requirement            filled      Inventory    requirement         filled
1997          Air Force                  14,492                11,162              129.8      5,473            3,280        166.9
              Navy                        7,768                 5,766              134.7      4,257            2,479        171.7
              Marine Corps                3,229                 2,641              122.3        338                269      125.7
                                                                                                   a                             a
              Army                       10,382                 8,998              115.4                             a
1998          Air Force                  13,785                11,040              124.9      5,230            3,128        167.2
              Navy                        7,821                 5,780              135.3      4,318            2,517        171.6
              Marine Corps                3,250                 2,618              124.1        350                269      130.1
                                                                                                   a                 a           a
              Army                       10,017                 9,162              109.3
1999          Air Force                  13,270                11,051              120.1      5,015            3,071        163.3
              Navy                        7,822                 5,780              135.3      4,352            2,517        172.9
              Marine Corps                3,257                 2,618              124.4        368                269      136.8
                                                                                                   a                 a           a
              Army                        9,817                 9,162              107.2
2000          Air Force                  13,085                11,051              118.4      4,864            3,075        158.2
              Navy                        7,864                 5,780              136.1      4,364            2,517        173.4
              Marine Corps                3,250                 2,618              124.1        385                269      143.1
                                                                                                   a                 a           a
              Army                        9,679                 9,162              105.6
2001          Air Force                  13,074                11,168              117.1      4,715            3,113        151.5
              Navy                        7,912                 5,788              136.7      4,376            2,517        173.9
              Marine Corps                3,240                 2,618              123.8        400                269      148.7
                                                                                                   a                 a           a
              Army                        9,583                 9,162              104.6
                                          a
                                              The Army does not have navigators.




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                   We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretaries of the
Recommendations    Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to develop criteria and review the
                   duties of each nonflying position to identify those that could be filled by
                   nonaviators. This could allow the services to reduce total aviator training
                   requirements.

                   In view of the recent articles and studies that raise questions about the
                   need to incentivize aviators to remain in the service, the abundance of
                   aviators as compared to requirements for flying positions, and the value of
                   ACP as a retention tool, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct
                   the service secretaries to reevaluate the need for ACP. If, the reevaluation
                   points out the need to continue ACP, we recommend that the Secretary of
                   Defense determine whether the services should apply a consistent
                   definition in deciding what groups of aviators can receive ACP.


                   In commenting on a draft of this report, Department of Defense (DOD)
Agency Comments    officials said that it partially agreed with the report and the
and Our Response   recommendations. However, DOD also said that the report raises a number
                   of concerns. DOD said that it did not agree that only flying positions should
                   be considered in determining total aviator requirements. In its opinion,
                   operational readiness dictates the need for aviator expertise in nonflying
                   positions, and nonflying positions do not appreciably increase aviator
                   training requirements.

                   The report does not say or imply that only flying positions should be
                   considered in determining total aviator requirements. The purpose of
                   comparing the inventory of aviators to flying positions was to illustrate
                   that there are sufficient pilots and navigators to meet all current and
                   projected flying requirements through fiscal year 2001. We agree with DOD
                   that those nonflying positions that require aviator expertise should be
                   filled with aviators. The point, however, is that the services have not
                   determined that all the nonflying positions require aviator expertise.
                   Furthermore, to the extent that nonflying positions could be filled by
                   nonaviators, the aviator training requirements could be reduced
                   accordingly.

                   DOD also said that the report, in its opinion, does not acknowledge the
                   effectiveness of the processes used for determining aviator training
                   requirements or the use of ACP in improving pilot retention.




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The issue is not whether ACP has improved retention—obviously it
has—but whether ACP is needed in view of the data showing that the
civilian airline sector is becoming less dependent on the need for military
trained pilots and that military pilots are becoming less likely to leave the
service to join the civilian sector.

DOD  further commented that the articles cited in the report as pointing to a
decrease in civilian sector demand for military trained pilots contain
information that contradicts this conclusion. DOD believes that the fact that
the airlines are currently hiring a smaller percentage of military trained
pilots is an indication of a decrease in pilot inventory and the effectiveness
of ACP as a retention incentive.

The articles cited in our report—Aviation Weekly and Space Technology
and the June 1995 CBO report—do not contain information that contradicts
a decreasing dependence on military trained pilots. The Aviation Weekly
and Space Technology article points out that about 70 percent of the
recent pilot hires by the civilian airlines have been pilots with exclusively
civilian flying backgrounds. This contrasts to previous hiring practices
where about 75 percent were military trained pilots. The CBO report also
discusses expected long-term hiring practices in the civilian airline sector.
The report points out that while the number of new hires is expected to
double (from 1,700 annually to 3,500 annually) between 1997 and 2000, the
Air Force’s efforts to retain its pilots may not be affected because the
industry’s new pilots could be drawn from an existing pool of Federal
Aviation Agency qualified aviators.

Furthermore, the issue is not whether the pilot inventory is decreasing and
whether ACP is an effective retention tool. The point of the CBO report was
that because of private sector airline mergers, strikes, or failures, the
commercial environment is less stable than the military. As a result, there
is a ready supply of pilots in the civilian sector and the short-term
demands for military pilots may be such that the Air Force’s quest to retain
an adequate number of pilots is not seriously affected.

In commenting on why the Air Force’s method of offering ACP contracts
differs from the Navy’s and the Marine Corps’ methods, DOD stated that
while morale and equity are vital to any retention effort, it is not the
primary determinant in developing ACP eligibility.

We agree and the report is not meant to imply that morale and equity is the
primary determinant for developing ACP eligibility. The report states that



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the reason cited by Air Force officials for not restricting ACP contracts to
just those pilots in aircraft that have personnel shortages, as do the Navy
and the Marine Corps, is because of the morale and equity issue. Another
reason cited by Air Force officials was the interchangability of its pilots.
However, the Navy and the Marine Corps also have pilot interchangability.
Therefore, interchangability is not a unique feature of the Air Force.

DOD agreed with the recommendation that the services review the criteria
and duties of nonflying aviator positions. However, DOD did not agree that
the nonflying positions should be filled with nonaviators or that doing so
would appreciably reduce aviator training requirements.

DOD also agreed with the recommendation that the services need to
continually review and reevaluate the need for ACP, including whether
there should be a consistent definition in deciding what groups of aviators
can receive ACP. In DOD’s opinion, however, this review and affirmation of
the continued need for ACP is already being done as part of the services’
response to a congressional legislative report requirement.

We agree that the services report annually on why they believe ACP is an
effective retention tool. However, the reports do not address the essence
of our recommendation that the need for ACP—a protection against losing
trained pilots to the private sector—should be reevaluated in view of
recent studies and reports that show that private sector airlines are
becoming less dependent on military trained pilots as a primary source of
new hires. The annual reports to Congress also do not address the issue of
why the Air Force, unlike the Navy and the Marine Corps, does not restrict
ACP to those aviators in aircraft that have aviator personnel shortages. A
complete text of DOD’s comments is in appendix II.


We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense, the
Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; the Director, Office of Management and
Budget; and the Chairmen and the Ranking Minority Members, House
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Senate Committee on
Governmental Affairs, House and Senate Committees on Appropriations,
House Committee on National Security, Senate Committee on Armed
Services, and House and Senate Committees on the Budget.




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Please contact me on (202) 512-5140 if you have any questions concerning
this report. Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix III.

Sincerely yours,




Mark E. Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
  and Capabilities Issues




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Page 13   GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology


                 To accomplish our objectives, we reviewed legislation, studies,
                 regulations, and held discussions with service officials responsible for
                 managing aviator requirements. Additionally, we obtained data from each
                 of the services’ manpower databases to determine their flying and
                 nonflying position requirements. Using this information, we developed
                 trend analyses comparing the total number of aviator positions to the
                 nonflying positions for fiscal years 1994-2001. The Army was not able to
                 provide requirements data for fiscal years 1994 and 1995.

                 To determine the benefits paid to aviators serving in nonflying positions,
                 we obtained an automated listing of social security numbers for all
                 aviators and, except for the Army, the services identified the aviators
                 serving in nonflying positions. The data were submitted to the appropriate
                 Defense Financial Accounting System offices for the Army, the Air Force,
                 and the Marine Corps to identify the amounts of aviation career incentive
                 pay (ACIP) and aviation continuation pay (ACP) paid to each aviator. The
                 Navy’s financial data was provided by Defense Manpower Data Center.

                 To assess whether the services implement ACIP and ACP uniformly, we
                 obtained copies of legislation addressing how ACIP and ACP should be
                 implemented and held discussions with service officials to obtain and
                 compare the methodology each service used to implement ACIP and ACP.

                 To determine how the services compute aviator requirements and the
                 impact their flying and nonflying requirements have on training
                 requirements, we held discussions with service officials to identify the
                 methodology used to compute their aviator and training requirements. We
                 also obtained flying and nonflying position requirements, available
                 inventory, and training requirements from the services’ manpower
                 databases. We then compared the flying and nonflying requirements to the
                 respective services’ available aviator inventory to identify the extent that
                 the available inventory of aviators could satisfy aviator requirements.

                 We performed our work at the following locations.

             •   Defense Personnel and Readiness Military Personnel Policy Office,
                 Washington, D.C.;
             •   Defense Financial Accounting System, Kansas City, Missouri; Denver,
                 Colorado; and Indianapolis, Indiana;
             •   Defense Manpower Data Center, Seaside, California;
             •   Air Force Directorate of Operations Training Division, Washington, D.C.;
             •   Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas;



                 Page 14                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
    Appendix I
    Scope and Methodology




•   Air Force Directorate of Personnel Military Compensation and Legislation
    Division and Rated Management Division, Washington, D.C.;
•   Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia;
•   Bureau of Naval Personnel, Office of Aviation Community Management,
    Washington, D.C.;
•   Navy Total Force Programming, Manpower and Information Resource
    Management Division, Washington, D.C.;
•   Navy Manpower Analysis Team, Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet,
    Norfolk, Virginia;
•   Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Force Structure Division,
    Quantico, Virginia;
•   Marine Corps Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
    Department, Washington, D.C.;
•   Army Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans Force Integration and
    Analysis, Alexandria, Virginia;
•   Army Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Washington, D.C.;
    and
•   Congressional Budget Office, Washington, D.C.

    We performed our review from March 1996 to December 1996 in
    accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




    Page 15                                  GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
Appendix II

Comments From the Department of Defense




              Page 16       GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
Appendix II
Comments From the Department of Defense




Page 17                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
                Appendix II
                Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on p. 11.




Now on p. 11.




                Page 18                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
Appendix III

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Sharon A. Cekala
National Security and   Robert J. Lane
International Affairs
Division, Washington,
D.C.
                        Richard Seldin
Office of General
Counsel, Washington,
D.C.
                        Norman L. Jessup, Jr.
Norfolk Field Office    Patricia F. Blowe
                        Patricia W. Lentini




(703139)                Page 19                 GAO/NSIAD-97-60 DOD Aviator Positions
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