Under the expansion plan outlined by Wilson, the Air Force needs to grow by 74 additional squadrons, a 25% increase, by 2030.
“To face the world as it is, with a rapidly innovating adversary, the Air Force we need should have about 25 percent more operational squadrons in the 2025 to 2030 time frame than the Air Force we have,” Wilson told attendees at an Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
“Three hundred and twelve operational squadrons is not enough.
Seven of them would be assigned to space squadrons, and five would be bomber squadrons.
Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, pointed out that a 24 percent growth in Air Force squadrons would require an additional $13 billion per year. “The cost of pay and benefits for 40,000 airmen is about $5.2B per year (give or take),” he wrote in a Tweet on Friday.