Phase Two

The mostly voluntary measures instituted last November to reduce the Air Force’s active duty end strength to its authorized level aren’t resulting in the hoped-for drawdown, says Brig. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, director of force management policy on the Air Staff. Exacerbating the situation is a sluggish economy that has contributed to USAF’s retention rates being at a 15-year high, she said. Accordingly, the service on Thursday launched phase two of its force management initiative, a set of voluntary and involuntary steps needed to reach an authorized ceiling of 332,800 airmen in Fiscal 2012. As of Feb 28, end strength stood at 335,500. These moves are projected to affect two percent of the service’s officers (1,373) and 1.6 percent of the enlisted corps (4,376) through Fiscal 2011. Additionally, they will reduce officer accessions by 737 and enlisted accessions by 2,681 over that period, said Dunbar. (See Air Force release) (Also see In More Depth: Good News, Bad News)