In a lengthy letter to airmen, Chief of Staff Michael Moseley writes that after taking a 40-percent post-Cold War personnel reduction, the Air Force “has been driven to sacrifice its future to keep manpower constant,” leading to a “decades-old decline of investment accounts.” To wit, by not cutting more people, the service has not been able to buy new aircraft and new space systems. To remedy this situation, Moseley and Secretary Michael Wynne embarked on the current plan to cut 40,000 full-time equivalent positions over the next five years. People—presumably unnecessary people—must go. Moseley explains: “To stay within our allocated budgets and to increase our investment accounts, the reality is we have to draw the force down.” Moseley writes also that the service’s remaining personnel should “work smarter, not harder.”
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.