Natural Reductions

The Air Force needs to be more efficient with its use of airmen so that it can cut 40,000 positions and increase its pool of deployable airmen. (See the “Reality Sinks In” below.) Such moves are difficult but not always painful—top leaders said Tuesday that there are some natural places to find manpower efficiencies. Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, noted during the Four-Star Forum at AFA’s Washington conference that even today the Air Force only has about 86 percent of its uniformed personnel assigned to Air and Space Expeditionary Force “deployment buckets.” The goal is to have 100 percent of the airmen deployable, he said, although obviously not all airmen will actually deploy. Part of the problem may be the Air Force’s 263 distinct Air Force Specialty Codes. Moseley envisions a smaller number of deployable “family groupings” of specialty codes that would increase the number of deployable airmen and would also reduce the number of schoolhouses and training pipelines the Air Force supports.