The Next Big Force-Out Is Starting

The Air Force says the first increment in reducing the Total Force by some 40,000 positions over the next five years will strike about 8,000 officers in Fiscal 2007. The enlisted force numbers for 2007 are “on target,” but USAF has too many officers, say service officials. If enough officers do not voluntarily offer to retire or leave the active duty force, the service is lining up the necessary “force-shaping” measures, which are a selective early retirement board, or SERB, and, for those not eligible for retirement, a force-shaping board, once known as a reduction in force or RIF board. The 8,000 officers will have to leave the service—one way or another—before Sept. 30, 2007.