The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win in the air, space, and cyberspace.
World War II had been over for two years and the Korean War lay three years ahead when the Air Force ended a 40-year association with the U.S. Army to become a separate service. The U.S. Air Force thus entered a new era in which airpower became firmly established as a major element of the nation’s defense and one of its chief hopes for deterring war. The Department of the Air Force was created when President Harry S Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947.
The Air Force has three core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting and Integrating Operations. These core competencies make six distinctive capabilities possible:
Air and Space Superiority: With it, joint forces can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions -- land, sea, air and space.
Global Attack: Because of technological advances, the Air Force can attack anywhere, anytime -- and do so quickly and with greater precision than ever before.
Rapid Global Mobility: Being able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere needed is key to maintaining rapid global mobility.
Precision Engagement: The essence lies in the ability to apply selective force against specific targets because the nature and variety of future contingencies demand both precise and reliable use of military power with minimal risk and collateral damage.
Information Superiority: The ability of joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign plan is crucial.
Agile Combat Support: Deployment and sustainment are keys to successful operations and cannot be separated. Agile combat support applies to all forces, from those permanently based to contingency buildups to expeditionary forces.
The Department of the Air Force is headquartered in the Pentagon, Washington D.C. The service is organized in nine major commands throughout the world which provide combat aircraft, airlift, refueling, reconnaissance and other support to the Unified Combatant Commands.
The Air Force also has more than three dozen field operating agencies and direct reporting units which directly support the mission by providing unique services.
There are approximately 332,000 airmen currently serving across the globe.
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