Attrition: USAF Shedding 12 Percent of Personnel

Archives

September 22, 2006: Faced with the escalating cost of new aircraft, the U.S. Air Force is seeking to save $5 billion a year by reducing its personnel strength about 12 percent over the next five years. That's some 40,000 air force jobs that will disappear. Some generals want even larger cuts, of up to 50,000 officers and airmen.
Every few billion dollars helps, as the air force plans to spend over $60 billion on F-22 fighters, and over $277 billion on F-35s. Another $60 billion will be spent on C-17 transports. On an annual basis, these three programs will cost up to $30 billion a year. So the $5 billion a year savings from the personnel cuts will make a difference, even when the air force budget is $100-110 billion a year.
Cutting that many troops can backfire, and the air force is trying to avoid that by getting people at as many levels as possible involved. There will be few outright layoffs, there will be fewer people recruited, and more retiring early. It will be more difficult to get promoted, and many people in crowded fields, will be under pressure to retrain for new jobs (which can mean a major effort if you are switching to a high tech field.) On the downside, the cuts could mean lower readiness levels (the percentage of aircraft available for duty) and less well trained pilots and support personnel. Moving air wings overseas could take longer, and function less efficiently, because of the cuts, or the several years needed to adjust to the cuts.
Time will tell as to what the impact of the cuts will be, but the air force will never be the same. That, however, is something the air force has gone through several times over the last 70 years.

 


Article Archive

Attrition: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close