Financial management within the Air Force is undergoing a massive transformation that will return approximately 600 jobs to the warfighting effort, budgetary guru John Vonglis told reporters at the Pentagon last week. The Financial Services Center the Air Force plans for Ellsworth AFB, S.D., will serve as the focal point for the “largest single transformational effort in our career field in over 60 years,” said Vonglis. USAF plans to consolidate routine transactions from 93 locations worldwide at the Ellsworth center. Phase I begins in October, when Ellsworth opens a new Central Processing Center, followed a year later with a round-the-clock full-service contact center that can answer finance-related questions from airmen assigned around the world instead of having local fully staffed finance offices. “We simply can’t afford to have the numbers of people that we have at present at our bases,” he said, noting that this transformation saves $210 million. “It is a significant undertaking and for minimal investment,” he added.
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.