Defense

March 10, 2014

Air Force officials announce fiscal 2015 force structure changes

Air Force officials released force structure changes March 10 resulting from the fiscal year 2015 President’s Budget announced March 4.

To ensure the service successfully transitions to a leaner force that remains ready, the Air Force plans to remove almost 500 aircraft across the inventories of all three components over the next five years.

“The FY15PB request favors a smaller and more capable force – putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at a fiscal 2015 budget preview on Feb. 24.

“As we built the force structure plan associated with the fiscal 2015 President’s Budget request, we attempted to strike the delicate balance of a ready force today and a modern force tomorrow, while working to ensure the world’s best Air Force is the most capable at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “This force structure plan balances capability, readiness and capacity and prioritizes global, long-range capabilities and multi-role platforms required to operate in a highly-contested environment.”

Air Force officials also said they plan to divest entire fleets, such as the A-10 Thunderbolt II and U-2 and focus on the multi-role aircraft that can deliver a variety of capabilities combatant commanders require.  Divesting entire fleets will save the Air Force billions versus millions of dollars, because divesting fleets also saves the costs associated with infrastructure, logistics, personnel and base operating support.

“In addition to fleet divestment, we made the tough choice to reduce a number of tactical fighters, command and control, electronic attack and intra-theater airlift assets so we could rebalance the Air Force at a size that can be supported by expected funding levels.  Without those cuts, we will not be able to start recovering to required readiness levels,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III.

The service also developed an analytical process to help determine the proper mix of people and capabilities across the three components to meet current and future requirements. Leaders from the active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, and two state adjutants general contributed to the process with the intent of preserving capability and stability across the total force.

“Wherever possible the Air Force leveraged opportunities to rebalance personnel and force structure into the Reserve component,” James said.  “For that reason, at most Air Reserve component locations where we divested aircraft, we replaced the existing flying missions with a new mission and preserved the majority of the manpower to ease the transition.”

Officials said this effort will help the Air Force maintain combat capability within mandated budgetary constraints by using the strengths and unique capabilities of the Guard and Reserve components to make up for capabilities lost as active duty end strength declines.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AF leaders seek relief from sequestration-level funding

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testify before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriationsí Defense Subcommitte...
 
 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 

 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 
 

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into ‘Backup Status’

The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total...
 
 

AFRL shape-changing materials make form a function

Air Force Research Laboratory research is shaping the future of aerospace. Through research into soft materials called liquid crystal elastomers, AFRL scientists have developed a method to locally program the mechanical response in polymer sheets without the use of actuators and traditional mechanical parts. This research (sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>