The National Reconnaissance Office took umbrage at a recent Government Accountability Office report (see above) in which the GAO claims NRO priority in hiring personnel has deprived Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center of personnel with the highest space acquisition certification level. (About 50 percent of the NRO workforce comes from the Air Force.) NRO responded that the “shortage of appropriately qualified individuals at the right levels is a result of workforce management decisions made in the 1990s.” It maintains that NRO’s hiring policies “are not the causal agent,” instead the “current problem is there are not enough qualified people to meet all requirements.”
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.