Following last summer’s breakup of the Air Force-National Reconnaissance Office top-level structure, the two entities with primary roles in national security space have “reached consensus on several near-term proposals to enhance AF/NRO relations, space capabilities, and mission performance,” according to a statement of intent released Tuesday. (For background, read “The Split-up in Space” from April’s Air Force Magazine.) Officials say that Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley and NRO Director Donald Kerr have been aggressively pursuing initiatives to improve the interoperability of the two organizations. (One first initiative was to give Kerr an Air Force title—assistant to the Air Force Secretary for space intelligence technology.) Per the agreement, USAF will assign to the NRO an additional two-star general to serve as deputy director and third in line of succession. The second in charge, Dennis Fitzgerald, now would take the title of principal deputy director. The NRO, in turn, will assign a one-star equivalent civilian to Air Force Space Command to serve as deputy director of air, space, and information operations and as the senior NRO advisor to the AFSPC commander.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.