Crunching the Numbers

As Air Combat Command has begun standing down numerous Active Duty combat units, officials at the highest levels of the Air Force are still determining how this will affect the command in the long-term, ACC spokesman MSgt. Randy Redman told the Daily Report. “There are currently many unknowns due to the uncertainty of ongoing budget deliberations and future decision points,” he said on May 17. “Remaining as mission-ready as possible is our priority, and we’re prioritizing spending to ensure this priority is met,” he said. On average, fighter aircrews lose currency to fly combat missions within 120 days of not flying, said Redman. To return those crews to mission-ready status takes about 90 days. The Air Force has witnessed several standdowns in the past few years: F-22s in 2011 and F-15s in 2007. However, Redman said this situation differs, as those previous cases were not associated with the type of financial constraints currently placed on the command, making it difficult to determine the costs of bringing units back up to combat-mission-ready status.