Pilots, combat systems officers may be eligible for retention incentives Published April 1, 2015 Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Eligible active-duty pilots and combat systems officers have until Sept. 30 to apply for the fiscal year 2015 Aviator Retention Pay Program, Air Force officials said April 1. "The Air Force continues to expand previous ARP programs to decisively and deliberately shape and retain the rated force. External factors such as new Congressional mandates and a stabilized economy make these incentives vital to sustaining a predictable inventory of rated officers for the future," said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the director of military force management policy. This year, ARP provides specific eligible pilots and combat systems officers with monetary incentives in exchange for active-duty service commitments of five years for combat systems officers or until 20 years of aviation service for pilots. Additionally, pilots who entered into a fiscal 2014 agreement last year have the opportunity to extend their contracts from five years to until 20 years of aviation service and pilots who did not accept an agreement in their initial year of eligibility have the opportunity to enter into an fiscal 2015 agreement at a reduced rate. "This year's program provides amplified opportunities targeting specific rated officer categories and year groups to stabilize the rated inventory," said Brig. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the director of operations and readiness. "We encourage supervisors and commanders to inform and educate all eligible rated officers on the opportunities offered this year, so we continue reaping the benefits of these skilled aviators long into the future." The fiscal 2015 ARP program applies to lieutenant colonels and below who will not reach 16 years of total active federal military service by the end of the fiscal year that their undergraduate flying training (UFT) ADSC expires. Also, these officers must be qualified for operational flying duty and entitled to and receiving monthly flight pay. Depending on the aviator category and length of the ARP contract, incentives will vary from $10,000 to $25,000 per year with some categories eligible to receive 50 percent of the ARP total payable up front. Similar to the fiscal 2014 program, Airmen who will complete their undergraduate flying training UFT active-duty service commitment anytime in fiscal 2016 may submit an application to Air Force Personnel Center to lock in a contract for next year under the fiscal 2015 ARP terms and conditions. "The Air Force modifies the ARP program annually in order to meet current and future rated force requirements," Kelly said. "We continue to choose this viable, cost-effective method to retain experienced pilots and their expertise for command, staff and other rated requirements." For complete eligibility requirements and application instructions, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil and select the compensation link in the left hand column and select the "Aviator Retention Pay Program" link.