Facing a budget crunch, the Air Force should scale back its number of active forces, while boosting its reserve members, a report released Thursday recommends.
“Greater reliance on a larger Air Reserve Component provides a quick, ‘reversible’ way to generate manpower cost savings,” according to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force’s findings.
The report added that recommended changes aren’t “a criticism of the preceding force structure” but a suggestion on how to comply with budget caps imposed by Congress.
Reserve forces are less expensive than active forces, and by reducing spending in military personnel, the report notes the Air Force could use the funds to offset “cuts to readiness, modernization, and recapitalization.”
The commission was created by Congress as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act after members pushed back against a Pentagon plan to scale back its Air Guard.
And the Air Force isn’t alone in trying to find ways to save money. Pentagon officials are trying to decide where to cut more than $40 billion from its 2015 budget request. Officials said last year that they would request $542 billion for the 2015 fiscal year, but base spending for the Defense Department under the budget agreement is $498 billion.
And one potential — but serious — roadblock to any cuts is Congress. Members are working to block the Air Force from retiring the A-10 ground-attack aircraft to help free up spending for newer planes. And last year Congress rejected the Defense Department’s request to reduce the number of bases it does not need.
- 1 EMILY’s List Recruiting for Open Governors Races
- 2 Democrats Should Think Beyond Race in Drawing Districts
- 3 EXCLUSIVE: Former JET, Ebony Editor on Suspicion that Woman Passed for Black, Led NAACP Chapter
- 4 Withdrawal from Climate Deals Would Have Diplomatic Ripple Effects
- 5 Kushner a Subject of FBI Russia Probe
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."