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.

Florida Guard F-15 Unit Deploying to Europe

F-15 Eagle

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The U.S. Air Force is sending another rotation of combat aircraft to Europe to bolster security in response to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, this time tapping into the Air National Guard to support strategic interests an ocean away. Twelve F-15 Eagle fighter jets and about 200 airmen from the 125th Fighter Wi... more

US Thunderbolt II Attack Planes Training in Poland

A-10 Thunderbolt II

WARSAW, Poland— Poland's armed forces say that four U.S. Thunderbolt II attack planes are training for the first time in Poland as part of a security reassurance mission. U.S. land and air forces are training in eastern Europe as part of NATO's Atlantic Resolve operation, which aims to confirm the alliance's readiness to defend its members shou... more

Military Leaders Report Concerns on Long-Term Readiness

Adm. Michelle Howard, right, lends a hand to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus as he and Wayne Cowles, Howard's husband, put four-star shoulder boards on Howard's service white uniform during her promotion ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. military is consuming readiness as fast as it can generate it, and this leaves America vulnerable, uniformed leaders told the House Armed Services Readiness subcommittee March 26. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, the Army vice chief of staff; Adm. Michelle J. Howard, the vice chief of naval operations; Gen. Larry O. Spencer, Air Forc... more

Budget Cut Would Hit 'Every Part' of Air Force

Deborah Lee James

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE -- The return of sequestration would impact "every part" of the Air Force while the service branch has called for an end to downsizing the number of airmen in ranks and pushes to restore readiness and modernize an aging fleet, the service branch's top civilian leader said. In an exclusive interview Thursday with ... more

General: Robins Air Force Base Setting Efficiency Records

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WARNER ROBINS -- Robins Air Force Base is doing well in the Air Force's push for a more efficient and effective operation, a top general said Thursday. Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield said he plans to walk the production lines at the base Friday, where he's seeing airplanes getting turned around in record times with record quality, improved labor rel... more

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