Air Force announces plans for expansion, squadron increase

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Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF-Ret.) dean of Aerospace Studies at The Mitchell Institute, discusses the Air Force’s plans for more squadrons, and how it plays into the greater goals of military modernization.


At last week’s Air Force Association Conference, Secretary Heather Wilson announced plans to increase the number of active squadrons to 386. Wilson says that the 74 additional units are needed to accomplish goals laid out in the National Defense Strategy. The branch plans to purchase more aircraft and recruit more airmen, but have yet to say how many. Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF-Ret.) dean of Aerospace Studies at The Mitchell Institute, says that this announcement is a reaction to the changing face of war.

 

“What’s happening today is a greater realization that the threat situation facing the United States is very much changing,” said Deptula. “Today, we have the smallest, the oldest, and the least ready Air Force in the history of our nation. So that’s why you see Secretary Wilson and Chief Goldfein getting out there and saying ‘in order to meet our challenges, we need to grow the force.’”