The Air Force will temporarily transition some legacy active-duty maintenance units to contract maintenance beginning in fiscal year 2017 and continuing through fiscal year 2020. There is a shortfall of 4,000 maintainers. The move will allow the Air Force to cross train approximately 1,100 experienced maintainers from legacy aircraft (F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and C-130 Hercules) into the F-35 Lightning II program. Additional initiatives to manage the maintainer shortage include: increasing the number of maintenance accessions; offering selective reenlistment bonuses; offering experienced former Airmen the opportunity to return to active duty; offering high year of tenure extensions; implementing direct duty prior service accessions; and implementing voluntary limited period of active duty.
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