Latest Roll Call explains force shaping initiatives

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In this week's Roll Call, Air Force leaders discuss force shaping and define the measures being taken by the service to meet end-strength numbers.

Air Force leaders are in the process of reducing the service's current size by 40,000 full-time equivalent positions through a variety of programs impacting both enlisted and officers. Originally to be met by 2011, officials accelerated the force reduction to be completed by 2009 in order to meet recapitalization efforts to modernize the force.

"We faced two challenges: aging aircraft and equipment and unbalanced manning. To recapitalize our aircraft, we need money. And to balance the force, we need personnel programs to get the right Airmen doing the right jobs," wrote Air Force leaders.

Air Force officials said they have realized about 15,000 of those losses already, but need another 30,000 in the next two fiscal years. Achieving this, they said, will fall largely on attrition. As Airmen retire and separate over the next two years, some of their positions will not be refilled.

"The bottom line is that of the about 30,000 more losses we need through FY09, we expect only about 10 percent (or 3,000) of those to be involuntary losses," Air Force leaders said. "Through this process, we will gain a smaller, more efficient force. With the savings that come from a smaller force, we will realize money that can be used to recapitalize the force now, so that Airmen 10 to 20 years from now will be able to meet future threats head on."

Click here to view this week's Roll Call.

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