Gates Identifies 22 USAF General Officer Positions for Elimination

The Air Force is losing 22 general officer authorizations as part of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ efficiency initiative to shed Pentagon overhead. They are among the 102 total general officer/flag officer positions that Gates is eliminating across DOD as part of the latest round of efficiency decisions he’s just announced in a memorandum. Most of these reductions are in the joint realm, affecting the services equally, at least in theory. As for the service-specific cuts, the Air Force fared the worst: the Army is losing half as many positions (11), as is the Navy, while the Marine Corps sheds none. Set for elimination are USAF’s GO billets for the commanders of 19th Air Force, the Air Force Institute of Technology, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 55th Wing, 76th Maintenance Wing, 309th MXW, 325th Fighter Wing, and 402nd MXW; and for the vice commanders of 12th AF and 17th AF. Also going away are GO positions for the: AFCENT assistant deputy commander, AMC deputy director of operations, AFSOC special assistant, AFSPC special assistant, Air Force Secretariat director of cyberspace operations, military deputy director in the Air Staff’s studies and analyses (A9) office, assistant surgeon general for strategic medical plans and programs, and USAF’s DADT review working group director. Rounding out the eliminations are the ACC staff judge advocate, AFMC SJA, AMC SJA, and USAF’s deputy legislative liaison. The final four positions are among the nine to which the services did not agree, but Gates imposed. These 22 GO positions will disappear as the incumbents complete their current tours.