Getting to 86

The Air Force’s planning director, Lt. Gen. Raymond Johns told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference on Tuesday afternoon that the $20 billion annual shortfall the service has identified in its budget undercuts the service’s ability to reach its Quadrennial Defense Review-mandated goal of organizing, training, and equipping 86 combat wing equivalents. Without a funding infusion, the service will only be able to equip 78 combat wings, and “that’s risk,” he said. The money needs to start flowing now—Johns said the budget disconnect begins with a $9 billion shortfall in Fiscal 2009.