Air Force retention levels are the highest they have been in 20 years. The service attributes the statistic to factors triggered by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. More airmen are opting to re-enlist or defer retirement. High retention and congressional action have combined to enable the Air Force to increase strength by almost 23,000 during the past five years, and close a 4,000-person maintainer gap. Service leaders now want to review “voluntary opportunities,” so that airmen can make the right career choices. The service has no plans to implement involuntary programs next year.