$100 Billion is a Big Number

The Air Force will be “potentially, $20 billion shy of what we need in this Air Force budget each year across the [future years defense program],” Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley said Wednesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in Washington. The shortage stems from a range of “unexpected demands on resources,” such as “rising fuel prices, rising defense healthcare costs, rising inflation rates or exchange rates, … aircraft retirement restrictions, and the staggering rise in the cost of ownership of these aging aircraft,” explained Moseley. The Air Force has cut its force by 42 percent since 1992 and will reduce its fleet by up to 20 percent in the coming years. Moseley said it will be tough to buy everything needed to meet the service’s obligations and cope with the “unforeseen” costs.