Air Force Plan Would Cut 10,000 Airmen
Nearly 10,000 of the Air Force's active National Guard and Reserve airmen would be cut next year if plans detailed Friday by the Air Force go into effect. Cuts will reportedly target the National Guard for more than half of the total personnel, aircraft and other equipment to be trimmed. Specific numbers trim 5,100 guardsmen, 3,900 active-duty members and 899 reservists. The Air Force Times has reported that the Air Force does not intend "to employ involuntary cuts in the active force to reach that goal." Changes will come to forces in all 50 states and cuts may not stop there. The plan brought immediate push-back.
A "strategic guidance" document obtained by the Air Force Times "provides a five-year plan for cutting and reallocating aircraft through fiscal 2017." Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., issued a statement that said the reductions as they've been laid out "would save relatively little" and "once done, cannot be undone." The changes have to survive passage through Congress as part of the Defense Department budget. Already on Friday, at least one Reserve unit had found support through a website called "Save the Flying Razorbacks," which asks supporters to petition the Defense Secretary on the Wing's behalf. Precise descriptions of how the Guard and Reserves ranks will be thinned have not been publicly aired. Methods that include early retirement and "reduction-in-force boards" have been used in the past.