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Making good on promises the service would realign its headquarters, major command, and numbered air force organizations, USAF announced a raft o​f changes on Monday it projects will save $1.6 billion over the next five years. “We are aggressively pursuing reductions within the first year, rather than spread them out over five years as allowed by DOD,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “It’s better for airmen because it provides them predictability and allows us to re-stabilize our workforce sooner. It also allows us to harvest the savings earlier so that we can ploy it back into readiness and some of our key modernization programs.” One of the initiatives, previewed by Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium, will split the operations, plans, and requirements office on the Air Staff (A3/5), and merge planning functions with strategic plans and programs (A8). The A3 operations office will stand alone, and planners will be consolidated in a new A5/8 office. Programming duties performed by A8 will be sent to the service’s financial management organization. Welsh said the new A5/8 will be responsible for “developing, managing, and constantly assessing” USAF’s strategy, while the finances will be in another organization. This will allow USAF to move forward on long-range goals, despite short-term budgeting challenges.