Fiscal 2015 Force Structure Changes Announced

The Air Force plans to remove almost 500 aircraft in total from across its three components between Fiscal 2015 and Fiscal 2019, announced the service leadership on Monday. This proposed reduction is part of the service’s Fiscal 2015 budget request and accompanying five-year budget program. “This force structure plan balances capability, readiness, and capacity and prioritizes global, long-range capabilities and multirole platforms required to operate in a highly contested environment,” said Secretary Deborah James in the service’s March 10 release. Service officials have discussed plans to divest the A-10 ground-attack and U-2 reconnaissance fleets to save potentially billions of dollars. The chart accompanying the release shows the states from which those drawdowns would come; it also highlights the intended reductions in other aircraft types. The other platforms include: C-20s, C-38s, C-130Hs, E-3s, E-8Cs, EC-130Hs, F-15Cs, and MQ-1s, according to the chart. “In addition to fleet divestment, we made the tough choice to reduce a number of tactical fighters, command-and-control, electronic-attack and intratheater airlift assets so we could rebalance the Air Force at a size that can be supported by expected funding levels,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh.