Growing US Air Force 24% by 2030 will cost $25+ billion per year

For FY2018, the Air Force requested a top-line budget of $132.4 billion in Air Force-controlled funding that invests primarily in Airmen, readiness, nuclear deterrence operations, space and cyber capabilities, combat Air Forces and infrastructure.

The US Air Force has requested a 24% larger force by 2030. This is a proposed increase from 311 squadrons to 386 squadrons.

A straight up 24% budget increase would be $33 billion per year in 2018. The US Air Force budget will increase from 2018 to 2030 because of inflation. Military equipment inflation has been the highest of sectors. US military costs have gone up faster than University tuition and medical costs. There are statistics for navy cost inflation but air force cost inflation is comparable.

The increased squadrons would need 40,000 more active-duty personnel – growing 12 percent, from just over 325,000 today to about 365,000. Just the staff and operating costs would add $18 billion per year. There will be other equipment procurement costs. It would easily be $25+ billion per year in current dollars.

The US Air Force gave a high estimate for the cost of the Space Force. The Air Force does not want Space operations to be separated from the Air Force. They claimed that there would need to be almost 8000 staff for the US Air Force and the total cost would be $13 billion per year. The proportional costs for 40,000 staff increased in the Air Force would be $3.6 billion per year.