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Early Brief


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.

Family of Fallen Airman Given New Home

Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer | Apr 24, 2014

ABERDEEN -- Last October, Krista Harvell thought she was attending a military appreciation event on the Pinecrest High School football field. Instead, the Golden Knights jumped into the field and handed her blueprints to a new house being built just for her and her two young sons. "It was a shock to say the least," she said. The home is court... more

Air Force Criticized for Mismanaging Drone Program

The Government Accountability Office said the Air Force has left its drone pilots with low morale. (U.S. Air Force photo) | Apr 24, 2014

The U.S. Air Force needs to do more for its overworked drone pilots, a specialized force that has little time to train and suffers from low morale, according to a recent report by a government watchdog. The Pentagon has dramatically expanded its use of drone aircraft in the last decade to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Air Force ... more

Guard Says Shrinking Active Duty Hurts Reserves

Lt. General Stanley Clarke | Apr 24, 2014

The director of the Air National Guard said he opposes any plan that would simply shrink the Air Force's active-duty end strength by moving more personnel into the reserve components to save money. When asked whether he agrees with calls to expand the ranks of part-time airmen as a share of the overall force, Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, directo... more

Welsh: One Clash on Sex Assault Case in 3 Years

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh | Apr 23, 2014

The U.S. Air Force's top officer pushed back against a lawmaker's proposal to curb military sexual assault, saying the service found just one case in three years in which a commander disagreed with a recommendation for prosecution. After a spate of sex-related incidents last year, the Air Force reviewed all courts-martial from the previous t... more

Alaska Air Guardsmen Rescue Man in Sinking Raft

 | Apr 24, 2014

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued a man in a sinking raft in the Cook Inlet, April 22. The distressed man placed a call to 911 to report that his raft was sinking and informed the Alaska State Troopers that he was between Fire Island and Kincaid ... more

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