People vs. Airplanes:

A recurring issue for members of the House Armed Services Committee at last week’s hearing on the 2008 Air Force budget request was the service’s plan to cut 40,000 personnel at a time when service leaders say airmen are “stretched and strained.” Panel Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) nailed the crux of the issue: “So, you’re reducing [people] numbers to get more new airplanes … to get things.” Gen. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff, responded that reducing the number of airmen is critical to get “beneath the physical guidance in the [budget] topline” and still fund vital new aircraft, aircraft upgrades, space systems, depot maintenance, and even quality of life for the personnel who remain. However, Moseley reminded the panel that the service does plan to reconsider its personnel cuts in view of the impending increase in ground forces.