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.

Senators Say A-10 Moves Amount to Backdoor Retirement

A-10 Thunderbolt II

WASHINGTON — Senators are trying to block the Air Force from moving 18 A-10 Thunderbolts into its backup fleet, saying it amounts to a "backdoor divestment" as lawmakers continue to debate the future of the aircraft. The group of eight lawmakers led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., say the move will unnecessary syphon off A-10 personnel and reduce... more

Congressional Delegation United on Halting 440th Move

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Congressional aides said North Carolina leaders aren't taking the fight to save Fort Bragg's 440th Airlift Wing lightly. Speaking to The Fayetteville Observer last week, they described a delegation of two senators -- Richard Burr and Thom Tillis -- and 13 representatives unified across party lines. Locally, that includes Reps. Renee Ellmers, R... more

Warbirds, New Fighters Fly in Unison at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

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On the sun-drenched flight line at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Friday morning, a World War II-vintage P-47 Thunderbolt sputtered and smoked to life. A couple of hundred feet across the taxiway, a modern-day F-16 Fighting Falcon warmed up its jet engine with a shrill roar. A few minutes later, the two planes flew nearly wingtip to wingtip a... more

Air Force Budget Includes ORS Program at Kirtland Air Force Base

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Markus Maier)

The Operationally Responsive Space Office at Kirtland Air Force Base could get a new lease on life under the U.S. Air Force's 2016 budget request, according to Sen. Martin Heinrich's office. Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat with a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that the Air Force budget contains $6.4 million for the... more

New Hearing Set for Air Force Academy Cadet in Sexual Assault Case

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A new hearing will air evidence against an Air Force Academy cadet charged with sexual assault on a classmate. The case against junior cadet Brock Mangum stalled last fall after the woman told a military hearing officer that she considered Mangum a friend and didn't want to see him face courts-martial. Now the academy has a hearing set for Mon... more

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