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Cancian, M. F. (2020). Us military forces in fy 2021. JSTOR. 
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Cancian2020
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Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Engineering, General, Geopolitical, Military Science
Subcategories: 5G, Air Force, Edge AI, Hypersonics, Military research, Mosaic warfare, Networked forces, Strategy, United States
Creators: Cancian
Collection: JSTOR

Part of U.S. Military Forces in FY2021. The Air Force continues the development and procurement of next- generation aircraft to meet the demands of great power conflict. Fielding of new aircraft has been enough to arrest the increase in fleet age. However, the Air Force is not buying enough new aircraft to sustain its force structure, so it seeks to retire older aircraft.


▪ Air Force military personnel levels, active and reserve component, increase slightly in FY 2021 and over the five-year period but remain essentially level. The largest increases are among civilians.

▪ Like the other services, the Air Force faces high day-to-day operational tempo while at the same time preparing to meet the demands of great power conflict.

▪ Aircraft inventories and fleet aging have stabilized in the near term.

▪ However, the Air Force is not buying enough new aircraft to maintain the inventory over the long term. Increasing procurement to the levels needed to sustain the inventory will require historically high costs.

▪ Instead, the Air Force plans to close this gap by retiring older aircraft and shrinking the force, possibly substantially. However, Congress has been reluctant to do this in the past.

▪ Given these circumstances, the Air Force is backing away from its 25 percent expansion goal to reach 386 operational squadrons.

▪ The FY 2021 budget procures no unmanned aircraft, so the unmanned fleet has plateaued at 6 percent of the force.

▪ Nuclear forces require a greater share of the Air Force budget as Reagan-era systems reach the end of their service lives, and as a result, nuclear modernization generates some opposition.

▪ The Space Force continues to take shape, so far entirely from Air Force elements.

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