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 Must be More Agile, General Says

KC-46A "Pegasus"

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE -- The Air Force will likely have fewer aircraft and less money in the future and will rely on a technological edge and "cross-domain solutions" in air, space and cyberspace to face demands in global hot spots, a top-ranking Wright-Patterson four-star general said Thursday. In an interview with this newspaper, Ai... more

Chemical Mix-Up Damages Boeing Tanker


In a new setback just weeks before the planned first flight of a fully outfitted KC-46 Air Force tanker, the Boeing plane's fueling system has been damaged by a chemical mix-up, temporarily grounding the jet. The jet -- the first test plane outfitted with working air-refueling systems and designated as a tanker -- was at the fuel dock on Paine ... more

Lt. Gen. Cox Picked to Serve as 18th Air Force's Next Commander

Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox (U.S. Air Force photo)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE -- Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox has been named the next commander of the 18th Air Force, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, the Pentagon announced Thursday. Cox, who currently serves as the Air Force's personnel chief, will replace Gen. Carlton D. Everhart III, who has been tapped to take the reins of the Air Mobility Command, a... more

Scott Airman's Trial to be in August on Desertion, Sex Abuse Charges

Gavel at rest

Tech Sgt. David Helm, 30, the Scott Air Force Base airman who was the subject of a nationwide manhunt six weeks ago, is set to go to trial Aug. 24 at Scott on seven charges, including desertion, sexual assault causing harm, rape of a child using force and sexual abuse of a child with a lewd act resulting in contact. Helm remains an inmate of ... more

Former Langley Fighter Squadron Reactivated as F-22 Training Partner

An F/A-22 Raptor and an F-15 Eagle fly over Langley Air Force Base, Va., Jan. 7, 2005. It was the Raptor's final flight before landing at its new home at Langley. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Keith Reed

The "Ironmen" will be back flying at Langley Air Force Base next month. The 71st Fighter Squadron will be re-activated under a slightly different name -- the 71st Fighter Training Squadron -- during a ceremony Aug. 21, according to a statement from the base. The former squadron, nicknamed "The Ironmen," was disbanded in 2010 when its F-15 ... more

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