U.S. Air Force seeks sharp growth to stay ahead of China, Russia

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U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., taxi upon landing at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, U.S. seeking shelter from Hurricane Florence in this September 12, 2018 handout photo. Senior Airman Isaiah J. Soliz/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force is predicting it will need to grow sharply over the next decade or so, boosting the number of operational squadrons by nearly a quarter to stay ahead of increasingly muscular militaries in China and Russia, officials said.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that the preliminary analysis drew partly from classified intelligence about possible threats in the 2025 to 2030 time frame, showing that the service, at its current size, would be unable to preserve America’s edge.”The Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do,” Wilson told a small group of reporters ahead of a speech on Monday that will lay out her arguments. Continue reading