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For at least a decade, the Air Force has attempted to balance requirements for rated personnel with inventories by producing and absorbing rated personnel as fast as possible. However, shortages have persisted and have even grown, so the Air Force has shifted emphasis to reducing the requirements for rated personnel. In February 2009, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force chartered a Rated Staff Requirements interdisciplinary project team (IPT) to recommend courses of action for achieving and maintaining the balance between requirements and inventories. The IPT rejected the notion of eliminating requirements and directed the owners of rated positions to recategorize specified numbers of staff positions to enable other than active rated officers to fill them. This report describes a process that could maintain the balance between rated requirements and inventory over the long term. The process includes (1) institutionalizing a version of the recategorization process pioneered by the IPT; (2) streamlining the processes for converting the recategorized positions; (3) planning for the effects of major actions on rated requirements; (4) redesigning positions to concentrate tasks that require rated expertise in fewer rated positions and assign tasks that do not require rated expertise into new, non-rated positions; and (5) making the aircrew management system responsive to avoid having changes throw it out of balance. An enforcement mechanism should also be included to ensure that owners of rated positions live within their rated authorization quotas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Elements of an Enduring Process for Maintaining the Balance

  • Chapter Three

    Responsibilities and Enforcement

Research conducted by

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

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