Spain is facing a major shortage of air force personnel, especially pilots, Air Force Chief General Javier Salto has warned.
Some 5,000 personnel are needed in the short term to cover current missions and new challenges such as cyber defence and space monitoring, he told a press briefing in Madrid on 20 March.
Total manning levels had dropped from 27,000 10 years ago at the start of the economic crisis to 23,000, and are on course to fall further to around 20,000, he said.
That represented around 17% of the three services together, compared with around 24% for other Western European air forces.
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