The Air Force must find additional personnel to serve as recruiters, military training instructors, and technical training instructors to handle the service’s planned boost in personnel. For Fiscal 2009, Air Education and Training Command estimates the service will need about 500 new recruiters, 205 tech trainers, and 200 MTIs. The service had cut back in these areas over the past several years as it drew down the force to try to free up recapitalization money. Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates agreed with Air Force leaders that the service needed to halt the drawdown and restore personnel to reach an end strength of around 330,000 by 2010. Air Force Recruiting Service plans to send a screening team on the road to talk up recruiting duty. In addition to the effort to bring in more recruits, the service’s recent switch to an 8.5 week basic training regimen has increased the need for MTIs. (Included AETC report by TSgt. Mike Hammond)
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.