The US Air Force (USAF) has restructured its officer talent management system, marking the biggest change in the system since the service was established in 1947.

As part of the restructuring, the USAF has split the legacy single Line of the Air Force (LAF) category into six distinct officer developmental groupings for active component line officers.

The six smaller categories are Air Operations and Special Warfare, Information Warfare, Space Operations, Nuclear and Missile Operations, Force Modernization, and Combat Support.

The new system will be implemented from March 2020 with the lieutenant colonel promotion board.

USAF officials visited airforce bases, discussed the proposed changes with airmen and incorporated the feedback in the establishment of the new groupings.

USAF Secretary Barbara Barrett said: “This is an important step forward in the way airforce leaders are developed. The team has done exceptional work to get us to this point and I look forward to implementing this together.”

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The legacy LAF represented around 80% of the officer corps within 40 different officer Air Force Specialty Codes.

USAF Chief of Staff general David Goldfein said: “This change is about ensuring we maintain a winning team. The existing line of the airforce category has served our airforce well and moulded the excellent leaders we have today.

“As we look to the future of warfighting, we must have an agile system that allows for a wider range of development paths to ensure officers have the needed skills and expertise to fight and win. This sets us on that path.”

The change will do away with the practice of competing for promotion against airmen from 40 different career fields with varied job requirements.

Officers will now be able to compete against a smaller cohort of officers with similar skills and experience.