Air Force Seeks New Ideas To Train, Retain Pilots.

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* A new Air Force initiative is calling on its personnel, industry and all aviation enthusiasts to create next-generation technology to train pilots.

The effort comes as the Air Force--and the aviation industry at large--faces a major pilot shortage that could threaten future readiness. The Pilot Training Next v2.0 Challenge is administered by AFWERX, an Air Force innovation hub with offices in Las Vegas, Austin, Texas, and Arlington, Virginia.

The goal of the challenge, which was open for submissions through early October, is to develop emerging technologies in artificial intelligence, biometrics, simulator development, virtual reality and adult education, according to AFWERX.

"What we are trying to do with the challenge is tap into those individuals who don't usually have the opportunity to partner with the Air Force," said Craig Leavitt, senior adviser at AFWERX. The organization is prepared to spend more than $300,000 on projects of interest.

The challenge also affords airmen the opportunity to share innovative ideas that can help retention in the Air Force, he noted.

"When you give people the opportunity to make a difference, they want to make a difference," Leavitt said. 'Airmen of all ranks get excited to be given freedom to help solve...

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