The U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday that it would suspend all civilian aviator positions and civilian helicopter pilots, including those in the United States Air Force and Navy.
The move comes amid a continuing military debate over the ability of military personnel to safely fly the planes they use.
The announcement comes days after the Air Force said that it had completed an extensive review of aviator roles, including whether pilots should be required to wear helmet and face shield requirements.
The review was conducted by a group led by retired Air Force Lt.
Gen. John B. Myers, who retired in March as head of the Air Combat Command.
The Pentagon has a long history of putting pilots on probation and probationary status, a move that can have a lasting effect on their careers.
But the military does not currently require pilots to wear protective gear or wear face shields.
In an interview, Myers said he was not aware of any recent case of a pilot wearing a face shield during an avionics flight.
“I don’t know of a single instance in the last 30 years where a pilot has been exposed to an avionic helmet in flight,” Myers said in an interview.
The Defense Department also has suspended the careers of three aviator pilots who were working for the military contractor DynCorp in Oklahoma and Texas, the Air National Guard and the Air Reserve.
DynCorp was contracted by the U.