Attrition: JDAM Puts 19,000 Airmen Out of Work


August 5, 2006: The U.S. Air Force continues it's layoffs, with plans to get rid of 8,000 officers and 11,000 enlisted personnel in the next year. This will be accomplished using a combination of early retirements, buyouts and outright firings. The staff reduction will try to keep the best people, and encourage some troops to shift to critical fields that have shortages.
The cutbacks are the result of increased automation, and the need for fewer aircraft, and fewer sorties per aircraft when there is combat. The JDAM smart bomb is one of the key drivers in the automation area. Smart bombs in general reduce the number of sorties needed to get the job done (targets destroyed). This reduces the number of aircraft needed, which reduces the number of personnel required. The air force is also scrounging up bucks wherever it can so it can buy more F-22s.


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