The Jury in Recess

After a five-hour session Thursday, the Air Force Council reconvenes on Friday for a planned two-hour meeting to discuss potentially “deep vertical cuts” in USAF force structure and poorly-performing programs, senior service officials tell the Daily Report. On the block: retiring the entire B-1B bomber fleet, Air National Guard F-15C/Ds (and possibly the remaining active duty squadrons as well), and pre-Block 50 F-16s. Also being looked at is terminating the Global Hawk Block 40 variant and the multifunction advanced data link. Another option: consolidating some bases and putting the emptied ones in caretaker status. One senior official said, “We can’t nickel and dime these cuts; we’d go back to the days of the hollow force.” To be effective, the cuts would have to eliminate all of the logistics, training, and parts “tail” that go with a given system. He also said that if the Air Force doesn’t hit its marks in saving $32 billion over the future years defense plan, senior Pentagon officials “will take that money from us anyway and put it toward another service’s ‘tooth.'”