Title: Implementing Force Structure Reductions For Air Combat Command F-15's
Subject: An examination of F-15C force structure examining the lessons learned from the 18 PAA squadron experience, forecasting the problems with the new two squadron 24 PAA Wing and offering solutions to F-15C force reductions to maximize this critical resource .
Author(s): Mark C. Nowland; Glenn W. Carlson (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: AIR SUPERIORITY FIGHTERS
Abstract: Force structure is fundamental to creating an effective fighting force. Force structure reductions are negotiated and fought over at the very highest levels of government. However, the reductions are implemented at the operational wing level. The number of assigned aircraft per squadron seems to be an inconsequential factor in the macro view of the overall effectiveness of the Air Force. However, in the micro view the number of aircraft assigned per squadron significantly impacts a unit's capability. This study examines how two F-15C Air Combat Command wings implemented force reductions. In 1993, as part of the overall DOD budget decline the Air Force reduced F-15C squadrons from 24 primary assigned aircraft (PAA) to 18 PAA. This reduction created stress on the F-15C squadrons as they dealt with an increasing operations tempo with reduced manning. Subsequently as part of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) F-15C squadrons will be reinstated to 24 PAA. Although each squadron will return to 24 PAA, the Air Force to comply with the QDR reduced the 33d Fighter from three squadrons to two. Reducing the wing from 54 to 48 F-15Cs. This paper analyzes the consequences of the force structure changes capturing the impact of reductions on personnel. Drawing the lessons learned during the post drawdown, I offer an alternative F-15C structure that decreases non-essential pilot additional duties, reduces OPTEMPO and increases pilot manning to more effectively develop fighter pilots. These changes will reduce future stress as the F-15C's drawdown and transition to the F-22.