Too Much of a Good Thing

The Air Force has too many airmen in hand—thanks to the poor economy which officials believe has led to a higher retention rate—so plans to shed 3,700 personnel during fiscal 2010 to stay on target for an end strength of 331,700 airmen. The service plans to use voluntary and involuntary early separation and retirement programs, as needed, to cut 2,074 officers and 1,633 enlisted members. USAF is facing a $228 million personnel funding shortfall. To cut the enlisted force, it will institute a date of separation rollback and reduce specialty quotas, eliminating those airmen who fail to complete initial technical training. Officials expect to have to continue the officer reductions into 2011 since they do not believe voluntary measures will cover the entire 2,074. The officer plan includes reducing the 2010 officer training school accessions by 144 and delaying 417 ROTC graduates. (Air Force Personnel Center report by Daniel Elkins)