The Air Force has cut back on “non-mission critical” temporary duty assignments as part of its sequestration mitigation efforts. That could mean delays to professional military education courses, such as the NCO Academy and mission-readiness training, said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley during AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 22. “The TDY that supports all that work could delay the promotions of airmen that rely on that training and it could lead to loss of certifications for airmen in technical specialties such as firefighting and [explosive ordnance disposal] specialists,” said Donley during his symposium address.
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.