Cost of Doing Business

USAF budget director Maj. Gen. Frank Faykes said that even though the Air Force may get a small budget increase ($105.9 billion in 2007 vs. $105.5 billion enacted for 2006), it doesn’t cover the real costs of keeping the force ready. “Personnel costs have increased 51 percent in the last 10 years,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood said. Over the same period of time, “fleet upkeep costs are up 87 percent.” Procurement and RDT&E represented 55 percent of USAF’s budget 20 years ago but are now down to just 35 percent in the 2007 spending plan. Wood noted that a $1.7 billion increase in flying hours funding simply covers the higher cost of gas.