The Air Force plans to settle its 40,000-slot force reduction within the next three years rather than the five years it originally established, according to the Associated Press. That means instead of taking the last cuts in 2011, it will take them in 2009. The Air Force official talking with AP says the service still is wrangling with just which jobs will be axed, but the mix will include active, reserve, and civilian positions. We question whether there will be any reduction in USAF’s two reserve components. The Air National Guard certainly is on record as saying it will take its slice of the budget reduction driving these personnel cuts out of other areas. ANG does not intend to cut airmen until the dust settles on its new mission areas.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.