State of the Air Force

National VFW - 3/28/2017

Senior officials from the Air Force testified to the House Armed Service Committee Wednesday on the impact sequestration and unpredictable funding have on readiness and modernization. Testimony focused on the critical shortage of nearly 3,400 maintainers and 2,900 pilots across the Total Force, including 723 fighter pilots in the active force; the increased demand for Air Force assets over the last 15 years, including a 1,200 percent increase in the demand for Remote Piloted Aircraft; and the desire for another round of Base Realignment and Closure in order to reduce unnecessary infrastructure costs. Additionally, a 38 percent decrease in end strength since 1991 has increased reliance on civilian personnel - increasing their numbers to 26 percent of the Total Force. With the hiring freeze, however, the Air Force now has more than 8,000 civilian vacancies. Watch the hearing.