The Air Force increased the age limit for enlisted accessions from 27 to 39, a change that “affects all 130-plus enlisted career specialties,” according to a service release. “We are just complying with [Defense Department] mandates on the max age for enlisted members,” explained an Air Force Recruiting Service spokeswoman at the organization’s Facebook page. The change applies to the Active Duty component and the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. “Raising the age limit doesn’t mean we will increase the number we enlist each year. … In fact that number is dropping,” said the spokeswoman. “We are broadening our demographics so we can be more selective with our applicants to ensure we are taking in highly qualified members,” she said. The new age limit, announced on June 24, took effect immediately.
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.