The Air Force is planning for a robust increase to its end strength this year, continuing efforts to rebuild the force after the drawdown of five years ago.

The fiscal 2020 budget calls for growing the Air Force by 4,400, to 510,600 active, Guard and Reserve airmen. It also aims to produce 1,480 new pilots in 2020, which would be about 170 pilots more than were expected to graduate in 2019.

Goldfein has said the growth will come in a number of crucial career fields, to include operations, maintenance, space, cyber, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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