The People Numbers

Testifying before the House Armed Services readiness panel March 16, Gen. Howie Chandler, Air Force vice chief of staff, said that USAF has some 40,000 airmen deployed “on any given day” in Southwest Asia “providing close air support, tactical and strategic airlift, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and combat search and rescue, along with other combat and combat support functions.” In addition, he said, there are about 5,300 airmen serving directly in combat and combat support functions with the Army and Marine Corps, in what USAF now calls joint expeditionary taskings (JET). And, he continued, USAF has another 131,000 or more airmen “performing deployed in place missions for combatant commanders.”