By John T. Bennett - 09/19/11 06:50 PM EDT
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Air Force might have to shed people to
absorb Pentagon budget cuts, Michael Donley, the service's secretary,
The service now has about 330,000 active-duty personnel and about 164,000 Reserve and Air National Guard troops.
The military services are in talks with senior Pentagon officials about how each will implement their share of $350 billion in Pentagon budget cuts mandated in the August debt-reduction deal.
Donley held his cards close on Monday, telling reporters the services were asked by Pentagon brass to draw up various plans for how and from where they might implement the cuts.
He declined to comment on specifics, but during a morning speech to all conference attendees, Donley vowed to protect a range of items, including the F-35 fighter, a new bomber plane, a new aerial tanker fleet and personnel programs.