Air Force to phase out older aircraft?

Wednesday - 1/11/2012, 7:09pm EST

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Dunn, president and CEO, Air Force Association

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On the heels of a newly announced defense strategy — but before a clear budget picture has emerged — the Air Force has sent signals it's bracing for major cuts.

Under the new strategy, the Air Force is set to phase out 200 airplanes, mostly older models, without plans to replace them Wired's Danger Room reports. That's about 5 percent of the overall fleet. And the pilots who will consequently be without a plane to fly are mostly reservists and Air National Guardsmen.

The Defense Department will formally unveil its budget plan for 2013 next month. However, an anonymous Air Force official told Danger Room, the service would propose "substantial force reductions, amounting to a couple hundred aircraft" as part of that process.

All of this despite an ostensibly bigger role for the Air Force to play in the new Pacific-focused defense strategy.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Dunn, president and CEO of the Air Force Association, discussed the Air Force's scaling back on In Depth with Francis Rose.