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Air Force

The Air Force must expand its operational squadrons by some 25 percent in the coming years, officials say, to deal with the growing military might of China and Russia and to protect the homeland and continue to fight violent extremists.

"What we know now from analysis, what everyone in this room knows by experience," said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at a military conference outside Washington on Monday, is that "the Air Force is too small for what the nation expects of us."

Carson Frame / TPR News

Updated Sept. 6.

The Air Force has been battling a manpower crisis for several years as it continues to lose pilots to the lucrative airline industry. The total force faces a shortfall of about 2,000 pilots — the bulk of them fighters. It’s now exploring ways of modernizing its training pipeline, with the goal of making it faster and less expensive.


Paul Flahive / Texas Public Radio

About 250 airmen attended a presentation at Joint Base Lackland’s Gateway Club, featuring the culmination of 21 months of work: The transfer of authority over the 24th Air Force from Air Force Space Command to Air Force Air Combat Command.


As a 1990 graduate of the Air Force Academy, Anne Krause always looked up to women who graduated during the 1980s. Even though she felt a sense of resentment from her male peers during her own time at the academy, she knew that those women had a harder road than she did and that they paved the way for women in the Air Force.


Paul Flahive | Texas Public Radio

Maj. Gen. Chris Weggeman commands 15,000 airmen working for the 24th Air Force, which protects the country from cyber attacks of “strategic consequence.”

Weggeman is the first to tell you he isn't a technologist. With 20 years experience and multiple combat deployments, he said he’s a fighter pilot. That's good because he is often translating the language of cyber warfare for lawmakers and superiors into one they understand: the air war.


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