As Air Force leaders cast about for more ways to trim costs, quality-of-life endeavors are getting a fresh look. “We have to look deeper and determine what are benefits and what are perks,” cautions CMSAF Rodney McKinley, the service’s top enlisted man. Service officials are reviewing just what airmen need to ensure their readiness and have gym access 24 hours a day may not be necessary. Other ways to cut costs include such efforts as consolidating dining facilities and satellite fitness centers. Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, USAF’s personnel chief, says “We may sacrifice some convenience, but it’s important airmen know that their readiness will always be at the forefront.” However, Brady notes that key family services like child care will remain largely untouched by budget cuts.
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.