Air Force to cut 22 general officer jobs

The Air Force will lose 22 general officer billets and will have eight of its top scientist positions downgraded as part of wide-ranging cuts by the Pentagon aimed at shrinking the size of the military budget. A 48-page memo written by Defense Secretary Robert Gates provides further detail in his drive to free up $178 billion over the next five years.In the memo, dated March 14 but not yet publicly released, Gates lists an array of cost-cutting measures — from reforming the intelligence budget to slashing 1,000 contractors over two years from the Missile Defense Agency. The Air Force issued a statement declaring its support for “efficiency efforts.”

“This review was part of a comprehensive review of Service, [Office of Secretary of Defense], Defense Agencies, and Combatant Command staffs,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician said. “It built upon previous initiatives, and demonstrates commitment to proper stewardship of the mission and resources entrusted to the Air Force. A reduction or elimination doesn’t signify less emphasis on the affected organization’s mission or importance to the Air Force.”

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