New report: The U.S. Air Force is too small

A new report is warning that the U.S. Air Force may not have enough resources to complete future missions and meet future challenges.

A report from the Rand Corp. outlined possible future international scenarios, including new cold wars with Russia and China, as well as other force commitments.

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“The authors find that the current USAF force experiences capacity shortfalls in all four futures, and that no class of aircraft performs well across all four futures,” a report summary states.

The Air Force may have to make the case for more resources, the report suggests.

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“Better metrics would also help USAF leaders make the case for more force structure in interactions with DoD leadership, Congress, the media and the public,” the report said.

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The report warns that while fighter aircraft came closest to meeting imagined future demands, “C3ISR/BM” platforms — command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance/battle management — suffered the biggest shortfalls, “reflecting their small fleets and high demand.”

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the heart of all Air Force logistics and research efforts, as well as the state’s largest employer in one site. The base has about 27,000 civilian employees and military personnel, with an estimated economic impact of more $4 billion a year.

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