Reverse! Air Force Wants More Flyboys, Fewer Jets

F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon
F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon

F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets have been the backbone of US Air Force combat power for more than two decades. Give these warbirds the place of honor they deserve on your wall. Find the F-15 / F-16 “Aggressors” poster, framed art print, or 12-month 2009 calendar at The PatriArt Gallery. (Make great Christmas gifts for the Air Force veteran or military aviation fan on your list, too!)Danger Room’s Noah Schachtman has a typically irreverent take the Air Force’s proposal to scrap major portions of its current combat force — years before replacement aircraft are ready!

“Not too long ago, the Air Force was looking to cut 40,000 people from the service, to pay for more planes. Now: Reverse thrust! The Air Force brass wants to add an extra 13,000 flyboys by 2010. To help pay for the new troops, they’ll retire more than 300 fighter jets early.

In all, the service plans to retire 137 F-15s, 177 F-16s and nine A-10s, according to internal Pentagon documents obtained by Inside Defense . That’s more than 10 percent of the existing fleets. And it means that the F-15s will be retiring seven years early; the F-16s’ service times will be cut short by six years; and the A-10s will head to the boneyard 11 years ahead of schedule.”

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