The Next Force Shaping Picture:

For Fiscal 2008, the Air Force has set its sights on reaching an end strength of 328,600 airmen, a drop of about 5,400 from 2007. Right now, the service still plans to reduce its overall end strength to 316,000 in 2009, but that could change depending on the shakeout from the boost in ground force numbers. For 2008, the service does not expect to hold either a Selective Early Retirement Board or Reduction in Force as it did this year. It will hold, in March 2008, a force shaping board targeting some 130 officers in the 2005 year group and expects to get another 500 or so officers to leave through voluntary separations or retirements. The rest of the cut should come from “normal attrition” for both officer and enlisted airmen, according to Col. Chuck Armentrout, chief of the military force management policy division.