HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force needs to grow to 350,000

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

In ongoing efforts to size and shape the force to current and future requirements, Air Force officials explained why the service needs to grow to 350,000 active-duty Airmen over the next seven years.

The need to increase the end strength comes from the recognition that the Air Force is out of balance with ongoing and projected global demands for airpower, senior officials explained.

“The risk of manpower shortage is masked and placed on the backs of Airmen,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “Because if you go back and look at the data and the way we measure readiness, did we taxi? Yes. Did we launch? Yes. Did we make the deployed destination and accomplish the mission? Yes.

“What’s masked is the fact that the shortage of people has fundamentally changed the way we do business in terms of the operational risk day to day.”

If sequestration caps are removed and additional funding becomes available, the Air Force will consider growing to 350,000 active-duty Airmen during the next seven years. The service is currently on track to grow to 321,000 by the end of 2017, and 324,000 in the following years.

The erosion of readiness started decades ago, but has been exacerbated by sequestration and a continuous high operations tempo, explained Air Force officials. Throughout the last 10 years, the Air Force made steep cuts in overall end strength, especially in the combat air forces.

 

The Air Force has balanced risk across the force while maintaining the agility, flexibility and readiness to engage a full range of contingencies, senior leaders said.

 

“Additional manning is needed not just to meet air requirements, but to support the joint fight,” Goldfein said. “So when you look through the lens of growth in the United States military, we look through a joint lens and through that lens we see that the Air Force is always a part of every mission. Therefore, you can't have growth in one without growth in the Air Force."

Officials explained the Air Force must continue to grow the force to address key capability gaps and recover and sustain a stronger force for today's missions in the nuclear, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, maintenance and support career fields. It must also continue to resource growing remotely piloted aircraft and cyber mission requirements.

As part of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, the service plans to grow the active duty force to approximately 321,000 Airmen by 2018. Additional funding from Congress would be necessary for this growth, but details would have to be prioritized during future budgets submissions, officials said. 

While the Air Force acknowledges the demand for more Airmen, officials also commented that it will take time to recruit, access and train additional Airmen.

“This is not something you can do immediately,” Goldfein said. “It’s actually something you’ve got to do over time. This is something we would build over the next seven years in a steady climb.”  

Ultimately, the Air Force wants to reduce stress on Airmen and ensure we have enough people to support the joint fight and accomplish the missions the nation requires, said Air Force officials. 

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Ever wonder what it’s like to be a weapons #Airman? @AvianoAB’s 31st Maintenance Group invited Airmen from other career fi…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "I’m eager to continue the momentum Secretary Barrett and these two great military leaders put into motion as we work to…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "I look forward to working side-by-side with General Brown and General Raymond to ensure our #Airmen and #Guardians have…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Statement by Acting SecAF John Roth: "It is a privilege to serve #Airmen & #Guardians as the Acting Secretary of the Air…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: #Airmen & #Guardians: Serving by your side as the 25th SecAF has been the highest privilege of my career. Your vigilance…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: CBRNE defense course keeps Airmen prepared (Story by the @910AW) #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient https://t.co/U94z9LjpYA
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: Last month @usairforce put #AI in charge of a U-2 radar. This month we're training for electronic warfare. In algorithmic wa…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you #Airmen & #Guardians! Whether teaming on the ground with our allies & partners, roaring through the skies, or…
Twitter
Pentagon staff bid farewell to @SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett as she exits the Pentagon for the last time as SECAF.… https://t.co/UcEDbNt7qN
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Although tomorrow marks my final day as Secretary of the Air Force, my admiration and respect for #Airmen & #Guardians w…
Twitter
Iron sharpens iron. @RamsteinAirBase's CMSgt Jeremy Unterseher graduated from the Command Senior Enlisted Leaders… https://t.co/CZ17oIe3rn
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Incredibly proud of the readiness and professional focus of the men and women supporting the upcoming inauguration. https…
Twitter
Screamin' Eagle The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground mis… https://t.co/0gkqBohUj6
Twitter
Supporting international partnerships and deterring adversaries. #AimHigh https://t.co/ktC0QF19sa
Twitter
A1C Olivia Vargas performs maintenance on a B-1B Lancer at Andersen Air Force Base in support of a Bomber Task Forc… https://t.co/FQo2egYXuN
Twitter
Equality for all. Today we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and what he stood for. King dreamed of a… https://t.co/SrZbBhwSt4
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,315,584
Follow Us