President Bush on April 25 nominated Sue Payton, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts, to become the Air Force’s top acquisition official. The post has been vacant since the resignation of Marvin Sambur in January 2005. Payton has previous Pentagon experience, serving as acting director of defense research and engineering, and worked for defense contractors Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin. She has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s from the University of Southern California.
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.