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.

Illinois Air National Guard Soars Skies over Poland

POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland -- Airmen from the U.S. and Polish air forces started training together Oct. 15, at Powidz Air Base, Poland, for the start of Aviation Detachment rotation 15-1. Roughly 50 Airmen and three C-130 Hercules from the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing will participate in the training hosted by Detachment 1, 52n... more

Airmen Close Out Successful SALITRE Exercise

ANTOFAGASTA, Chile  -- After flying more than 50 sorties, participating in two community relations events, entertaining multiple media events and experiencing a visit from the President of Chile, U.S. Airmen participating in Chile's SALITRE 2014 exercise are returning home. "The 149th Fighter Wing executed every sortie except for those that wer... more

'Hurricane Hunters' Busy with Missions on Both Coasts

hurricane flight

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- It's been a busy two weeks for the Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew their last of 15 missions into Hurricane Ana in the Pacific Oct. 20, while gathering weather data for the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. On the other side of the globe, the hunters wrapped u... more

Eglin Air Force Base Expands Aerostat Program

A giant balloon has become a valuable asset in Eglin Air Force Base's weapons testing mission. On Tuesday, a Jacksonville company, Drone Aviation Corp, announced it had been hired to expand the capabilities of the state-of-the-art lighter-than-air balloon it provided to the base earlier this year. "In my world, what is interesting about this n... more

Medal Honors Guardsman for Saving Woman's Life

The U.S. Air Force medal ceremony honoring Tech Sgt. Shawn Rucker lasted far longer and caused Rucker more prolonged anxiety than what he endured on the night he saved Nancy Shatley's life. Even so, Rucker, looking a little embarrassed in his dress blues, managed one more act of generosity to the Shatley family on Monday. Rucker two years ago ... more

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