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The Air Force plans to eliminate 3,459 positions in headquarters as part of the directive to reduce costs and staff levels by at least 20 percent. Echoing previous plans to offer voluntary separation agreements to those eligible, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said, USAF would “aggressively” pursue “reductions within the first year” in an effort to ease the pain on personnel. Air Force Acting Deputy Chief Management Officer Bill Booth said the reductions will allow the Air Force to bolster personnel at the wing levels and maintain optimal readiness. "Reducing higher headquarters' staffs means we can save money that can be re-invested in getting ready for combat missions at the wing level,” Booth said. (See also Introducing 25th Air Force and Air Force Centralizes Mission Support.) (USAF release)