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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.

Air Force: 'So Help Me God' in Oath is Optional

Enlistment oath.

LAS VEGAS — U.S. airmen taking their enlistment or officer appointment oaths can omit the words "so help me God" if they choose, Air Force officials announced Wednesday. The policy change comes after an atheist airman in Nevada struck out the words on his Department of Defense reenlistment paperwork and ran afoul of a policy that prohibits omis... more

Air Force, Firefighters Partner for HAZMAT Response

Air Force firefighters

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. -- A tanker truck leaking a hazardous chemical prompted emergency responders to shut down Interstate 90 near the Washington-Idaho state line Sept. 14, garnering regional response including Fairchild Air Force Base firefighters. "We arrived on scene within 30 minutes of receiving the call," said Bryant Benitez, a 92nd Civil E... more

Global Strike Airmen to See New Jobs, Cash and Responsibilities

Two maintainers work on a missile while it sits erect in its capsule. Malmstrom's first flight of Minute-man missiles went on alert Oct. 26, 1962. (U.S. Air Force/courtesy photo)

The head of Air Force nuclear forces on Tuesday said the command has bounced back from last year's scandal that saw nine officers fired and dozens of other missile officers disciplined in connection with cheating on proficiency tests. The Air Force has since responded to the cheating scandal with a string of initiatives to address what serv... more

Air Force EPR Chief: 'This is the KC-46 of Promotions'

The Air Force is changing Enlisted Performance Reports to halt the problem of so many airmen earning top ratings of “5” in all categories, often referred to as a “Firewall 5.”

A room filled with anxious airmen questioned the chief of the Air Force's Enlisted Force Policy Branch at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference over possible problems with the planned changes to the Enlisted Performance Reports and promotion system. Chief Master Sgt. Brandy Petzel outlined the new EPR changes that will roll out... more

Pentagon Building Case for Air Force Fleet Upgrades

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The Pentagon on Wednesday called attention to the aging Air Force fleet that will U.S. commanders will depend on to play a dominant role in the air campaigns in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was scheduled to deliver a keynote speech to the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference Wednesday morn... more

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