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.

'Candy Bomber' Drops Sweets over Utah for July 4

 Gail Halvorsen, known as the "Candy Bomber," signs autographs at Utah's Heber City Airport on July 3. He later helped fly a WWII bomber that dropped 1,000 chocolate bars attached to tiny parachutes at Scera Park. Associated Press

OREM, Utah — A pilot who delivered candy to children in Berlin at the end of World War II parachuted sweets down to Orem to celebrate Independence Day. Gail Halvorsen, 94, also known as the "Candy Bomber," dropped 1,000 chocolate bars attached to tiny parachutes at Scera Park on Friday. He flew over the area three times before releasing the car... more

July 4 Celebrations Canceled at UK Bases Due to 'Threat Assessments'

A C-130 Hercules from the Air Force Reserve Command's 440th Airlift Wing at General Mitchell Air Reserve Station, Wis., sits on the ramp during a 4th of July (2007) fireworks display. (U.S. Air Force archive photo/Joe Oliva)

The U.S. Air Force has canceled 4th of July events in Britain due to “local threat assessments,” it was announced Thursday. A statement on the website of Royal Air Force Mildenhall said RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall called off celebrations set for Friday and Saturday at Royal Air Force Feltwell. “The decision was made due to the most current ... more

$35.4M Expansion of Air Force Museum Plans Spring 2016 Opening

Air Force museum

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE -- In a hive of steel lattice and concrete, workers painted, pounded, and drilled Wednesday, inching closer to the goal line to finish a $35.4 million hangar a football field wide and more than two and a half times as long at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. "It's a big, open, cavernous building," said ... more

Legal Immigrants: Airmen's Path to Citizenship

Senior Airman Sergio Espinoza Airman 1st Class Brendon Enriquez

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- For many, joining the Air Force is as simple as visiting the nearest recruiter. For Senior Airman Sergio Espinoza and Airman 1st Class Brendon Enriquez, 2nd Bomb Wing military justice paralegals, the journey began across the globe. In 2003, Espinoza departed El Salvador with his mother to pursue a better quality... more

Son Following in his Father's Footsteps

Senior Airman Christopher Balderas and Roy Balderas

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Some reasons people join the military are to serve their country, make a difference, earn educational benefits, and because it's a family tradition. For Senior Airman Christopher Balderas that family tradition began with his father's nine-year service in the Army as a Military Policeman. His father, Roy Balderas, ... more

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