The Air Force has found a further $3.4 billion in efficiency savings in the Fiscal 2013-17 future years defense program “on top of” the $33 billion that the service previously identified, said Secretary Michael Donley in a speech Thursday. The efficiencies come from overhead cuts and creative management of how the Air Force spends its money, Donley told attendees of his AFA-sponsored talk in Arlington, Va. The previous $33 billion—which will be reaped over five years—was hard enough to find, he said, and he doesn’t anticipate being able to “lean” the enterprise much more. “There’s not much juice left to squeeze from that lemon,” he said. Switching metaphors, he added, “There’s not a lot of fat left, if there ever was.” The Air Force leadership’s new white paper outlining the service’s new force adjustments states that the $3.4 billion in new projected savings would come from “re-examining cost areas, such as information technology, service contracts, travel, and inventory controls.” (See also Stone Bled Dry and Eye Toward Affordability from the Daily Report archives.)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.