The Air Force has suspended military tuition assistance for airmen for the remainder of Fiscal 2013 as a result of the budget sequester, announced service officials on Tuesday. Effective March 11, airmen are not permitted to submit new requests for tuition assistance, according to a service release. “This is an additional step the Air Force unfortunately had to take to operate within mandated budget limitations,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. “Believe me, this was a tough decision because our Air Force truly values education,” said CMSAF James Cody. He added, “We’re still looking at the impacts for Fiscal 2014 and will do our best to have TA reinstated, although we’ll likely need to review the eligibility requirements to ensure sustainability.” This change does not affect airmen currently enrolled in courses, or approved for future courses; they are allowed to complete those courses, states the release. The Air Force’s action followed the Army and Marine Corps; those services cancelled their tuition assistance programs on March 8. (Washington, D.C., report by SSgt. David Salanitri)
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.