Cold Hard Facts:

Gen. Ronald Keys, chief of Air Combat Command, sees a direct correlation between the Air Force plans to cut some 40,000 people and freeing money to recapitalize his force. Speaking with Washington-based defense reporters earlier this month, Keys argued that it is possible for the Air Force to reduce manpower during a war provided it can retire some 1,000 airplanes. For example, he said, “If I can get rid of 38 B-52s, then I don’t need the people to support them; I don’t need the people to fly them; I don’t need the people to help train, etc., etc., etc.” And, he noted that ACC would save people as it retires F-117 stealth fighters and brings on F-22s that require fewer people to maintain them. However, he admitted that bringing down the requisite number of older airframes “won’t bring down all those people.” Still, he said that 10,000 people—the number to be cut from ACC—equates to “something over a billion dollars.”