Attrition: USAF Downsizing


January 1, 2006: The U.S. Air Force is reducing it's personnel strength (active duty and reserves), by 40,000 troops over the next six years. Automation, fewer (but much more expensive) warplanes and easier-to-maintain equipment make this possible, and nexxessary. The cuts come to about 6,800 fewer people a year. The air force normally has to recruit 20,000 new troops a year, to make up for those who retire or leave (don't sign on for more duty). It hopes to avoid layoffs by cutting back on recruiting (mainly by raising standards), and getting existing personnel (in areas needing fewer people) to switch to new jobs. Some of the disappointed applicants are referred to the army, as the navy is also shedding personnel, and the marines don't usually attract the same kind of person who wants to be in the air force (even though the marines have their own little air force.)


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