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For a variety of reasons, including deployments, many Air Force organizations have been finding significant differences between the number of personnel they were authorized to have and the number of people actually available. RAND Project AIR FORCE undertook a detailed study of the related issues and policy implications. The researchers collected historical data and available manpower determinants; interviewed a variety of personnel; and analyzed the personnel strength histories of selected wings, functional areas, and specialties, eventually broadening the focus to the cumulative affect of the Air Force human resource system on wing-level manpower, skill levels, and personnel tempo. Among the resulting recommendations were ways the Air force can improve its manpower bookkeeping and how it determines requirements, including greater use of dynamic simulation models, as well as implementing metrics comparing planned and actual burdens on personnel, especially when on-the-job training is involved.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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