President Obama nominated Navy Deputy Undersecretary Eric Fanning to be the next Air Force undersecretary, filling the void created last June with the departure of Erin Conaton. Obama sent the nomination to the Senate on Feb. 4, according to a White House release. The President last August announced his intent to nominate Fanning for this position. Jamie Morin has been the Air Force’s acting undersecretary since July. If the Senate confirms Fanning, he would become the service’s No. 2 civilian leader under Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. As undersecretary, Fanning would be the Air Force’s chief management officer, its senior energy official, and the focal point for space issues within Air Force Headquarters. He would also represent the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary. Fanning is currently the Navy’s deputy undersecretary for business operations and transformation and its deputy chief management officer.
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.