Air Force

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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.

Travis Airmen Save Boy from Drowning

Staff Sgt. Edgar Hooks and Staff Sgt. Sean Richardson used their Air Force training to save the life of a 6-year-old boy who was drowning in a friend's pool. (U.S. Air Force/Ken Wright)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — When a summer pool party became a life or death situation for a 6-year-old boy, two Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, California, used their military training to save his life. "It was the worst and best day of my life," said Staff Sgt. Edgar Hooks, 60th Maintenance Squadron avionics technician. On Aug. 16, sev... more

Airmen Share Knowledge, Experience to Better Afghanistan’s Air Force

An Afghan airman demonstrates his aircrew flight equipment knowledge to U.S. Airmen. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Airmen assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing recently traveled to Hamid Karzai International Airport to assist Train, Advice, Assist Command-Air with training and validating the Afghanistan air force’s aircrew flight equipment section. The three-day trip gave the 455th AEW Airmen the opportunity to share their AFE kn... more

Beale Airman Found Guilty in Sex Case

Gavel at rest

A senior airman was found guilty of sexual abuse of a child and sentenced to one month confinement after a trial at Beale Air Force Base. Hank Robinson was tried during a court-martial composed of officers and enlisted Air Force members on charges of rape of a child, abusive sexual contact of a child, sexual abuse of a child and assault of thre... more

Cavalier Air Force Station Seeing Multi-Million Upgrades

Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D., home of the 10th Space Warning Squadron, has led the way in the fields of missile warning and space surveillance with its powerful Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System, or PARCS. (U.S. Air Force photo)

CAVALIER, N.D. -- U.S. Sen. John Hoeven toured the Cavalier Air Force Station near here Monday to review some $65 million in improvements being made to the facility. The improvements include a $43.5 million project to upgrade the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS). The focal point of that installation is a concre... more

Air Force is Considering Moving 51 Jobs from Scott AFB to Virginia

The 932nd Airlift Wing is known as the "Gateway Wing" because Scott Air Force Base is less than 30 minutes from Saint Louis. The wing flies the C-9C aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE -- A unit at Scott Air Force Base could soon lose 51 jobs as part of an Air Force effort to save money and boost efficiency. The Air Force Materiel Command, based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is considering whether to move the 51 positions from the 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing at Scott to the 735th Supply... more

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