Dan Cohen AUTHOR In recent months, Air Force leaders have indicated that the combination of a high level of demand for operations overseas and the service’s aging fleet will require the Air Force to add roughly 10,000 active-duty airmen or more by Oct. 1, 2017.The service’s active-duty end strength is slated to rise from 311,600 currently to 317,000 by this October. And while officials did not include funds for further growth in the Air Force’s fiscal 2017 budget request, Secretary Deborah Lee James has signaled her intention to use her authority to add up to 6,340 personnel next year, reported Air Force Times.“In reality, I think that mission demands will indicate that we need even more growth [than 317,000] in FY ‘17,” James said during her keynote address at an Air Force Association symposium last month. “We have been downsizing for a long time in our Air Force, and this simply must stop. It is stopping. And now, we’re in an era of a modest upsize.”If she opts to expand the service’s end strength in FY 2017, James said the service would target fields including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, maintenance and battlefield airmen. This year’s expansion will bolster those same fields, according to the story.Growing those critical specialties will not be easy, and will require officials to identify a source of funding and qualified people to fill those jobs. James said the Air Force plans to ramp up its recruiting and training efforts to handle the potential influx of new airmen.“After 20-some years of downsizing in our Air Force, in order to now grow modestly, we need to infuse resources into both the recruiting corps and into the technical training base, so that we can go out and attract the right kind of talent and then get them trained in the appropriate skills,” James said.Other strategies the Air Force is employing include offering incentives to retain experienced airmen, allowing more personnel from the reserve components to move into active duty and increasing opportunities for airmen to retrain into high-priority jobs.
Post a comment US firms can again deal with Huawei. Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET President Donald Trump agreed Saturday to lift some restrictions against US companies selling high-tech gear to Chinese telecom giant Huawei, says a report. “We’re talking about equipment where there’s not a great national-emergency problem with it,” Trump said after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to The Wall Street Journal.In May, Trump signed an executive order essentially banning Huawei because of national security concerns that the company is too closely tied to the Chinese government and that its gear could be used to spy on other countries and companies. Huawei has repeatedly said those fears are unfounded. More on Huawei Tags Mobile Security Huawei ban: Full timeline on how and why its phones are under fire Trump could use Huawei ban as leverage for US-China trade deal US companies reportedly bypassing Trump ban on sales to Huawei Huawei says Trump’s ban will hurt US 5G deployment FCC commissioner wants Huawei gear out of US networks The easing of restrictions is part of a general cease fire on trade reached between Trump and Xi during a meeting on the sidelines of a Group 20 meeting. Trump said the deal to restart talks would see the US delaying added tariffs on Chinese products in return for China buying American farm goods. It’s not yet clear exactly what Huawei restrictions will be lifted. “We’re going to work with China on where we left off to see if we can make a deal,” Trump reportedly said during a news conference. The president said he’d hold off on the Huawei issue until the end of negotiations, the Journal said.John Neuffer, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade group for makers of chips for computers, phones and other equipment, told the Journal he needed more details on what Huawei can now buy from member companies. He added, though, that he’s “encouraged the talks are restarting and additional tariffs are on hold.”Unnamed sources told the Journal that US national security officials have been exploring ways of narrowing the Huawei prohibitions so they pinpoint sales of US gear used in “chokepoints,” places where the Chinese company’s tech could control wireless networks. Security experts have voiced concern about foreign powers disrupting US communications networks, especially during a national emergency.Originally published June 28, 9:44 a.m. PT.Update, 10:20 a.m.: Adds mention of concern about “chokepoints.” Share your voice 0 Huawei